It may have seemed like Ryan Sheckler was on top of the world during his reality TV heyday, but he wasn’t exactly living the dream behind the scenes!
In fact, the pro skateboarder says he was “borderline traumatized” by how the Life of Ryan production team manipulated his romantic relationships for ratings and called him names on set of the MTV show, which aired from 2007 to 2008. During a candid interview on In Depth with Graham Bensigner, the now 31-year-old admitted the experience “rocked” him to his core, explaining how what was “the last straw” for him.
He shared about having to film his love life:
“That’s already a very intimate piece of your life that you don’t want people to know about or see. So, we break up once and then cameras are on, we break up again, cut. Now, the mood’s really awkward. And then, you know, they come over to me and they’re like, ‘Hey, that wasn’t enough. We need to do it again.'”
Yeah, definitely not a fun experience.
While these days, most reality stars know what they’re getting themselves into — using their private relationships as storylines and recreating authentic, real-life moments for the camera — Ryan says this wasn’t the kind of show he signed up for. He continued:
“And so that’s where the show became acting and it became like this thing where it was like, ‘This is not what we signed up for and this is not what it started out as.'”
The athlete went so far as to say that Life of Ryan “broke my heart” and “borderline traumatized me,” revealing that he “didn’t get into a relationship after the show until I was 25 years old.”
When asked why, the X Games gold medalist shared:
“I didn’t want to have to go through a breakup again. I have a heart, man, and I have very strong emotions and I do not like hurting people’s feelings… To blatantly have to hurt people’s feelings over and over again for the sake of television—for ratings literally—no, it rocked me.”
Hey, not everyone’s cut out for reality showbiz!
Ryan also took issue with what he described as name-calling on set, sharing that his nickname became “cryin’ Ryan” because the then-teen shed tears after learning about some upsetting family news. He explained:
“They were making fun of me for crying about hearing that my parents were gonna get divorced, and I heard about it on camera. That was the first time I heard about it. So I cried.”
While it wasn’t the best experience, Ryan acknowledged having his own show was an “incredible opportunity” — but he’s glad it ended with three seasons.
“It served its purpose. I learned the lessons I was supposed to learn from doing it, yeah, I wouldn’t take it back either. Bro, I was 17 years old. I was a kid. I was a kid that got an incredible opportunity, was in a very interesting part of my career, where it just seemed to be going up and up and up, and I figured this was the next best step.”
We’re glad he’s in a better place now!
Watch a clip of Ryan’s interview (below) for more.