‘Survivor’ Winner Richard Hatch Wants Reality Show On Sperm Donor Children
Remember Richard Hatch from Survivor? He won the inaugural season of the show in 2000, back when people actually watched it. He may have won a cool $1 million, but that money ultimately landed him in prison for tax evasion. Yikes!
The real interesting part of this story, however, is that Hatch â€“ who was released from jail this week and who maintains his innocence â€“ is hoping for a new reality TV show. The premise? A series about his relationship with the children he helped create through sperm donation.
Turns out Hatch, 50, is a father of three (at least). He has an adopted son who attends the University of Rhode Island. In March, just before his second prison term, he met 22-year-old Devin, a man claiming to be Hatch’s biological son. They did some DNA testing and yup, this was indeed Hatch’s child. While in jail, Hatch received a surprise visit from a young woman named Emily, also 22. And guess what? She’s his biological daughter.
No word on the details of Hatch’s relationship with his instant family, but it sounds like he’s struck up a relationship with both kids. And now he wants to share it with the world. He believes that a reality TV show on the subject could help others in a similar situation and spark more connections between donors and children.
Wendy Kramer agrees. She’s the executive director and co-founder of the Sibling Donor Registry, a group that helps children who want to find their biological donors (Devin and Emily used them to connect with Hatch). Kramer said that Hatch’s discovery is one of the most interesting she has ever encountered, and that they have discussed working on a TV project.
“It was additionally challenging to be wrongfully imprisoned knowing that these children were coming forward,” Hatch said. “I told the court that beforehand. I explained this is a fascinating time in my life when I was at a place where I wanted to get to know these people who are my children who have come forward and want to get to know me.”
It’ll be interesting to see what comes of all this. I have to admit that I think a show on children uniting with their sperm donors would be fascinating â€“ and make for good TV. But something about Hatch being such a reality TV junkie irks me. Hatch actually said he’d like to compete in The Amazing Race one day, too, though that will have to wait since he’s not allowed to leave the country without court permission while on supervised leave for next 26 months. The travel restrictions also mean he’s unable to visit his husband, who lives in Argentina (the pair got hitched in Nova Scotia, where same-sex marriage is legal).
The whole topic of sperm donation has been in the news a lot lately. Just yesterday, we wrote about politician Bill Johnson, who so far this year has impregnated three women through sperm donation and who hops to be actively involved in their lives (though his story in general is sketchy). And in September, we wrote about a Washington-based woman who used a sperm donor to conceive a baby with her partner in 2004, and who has since learned that the same donor has fathered 148 other children.
Meanwhile, the Academy Award-nominated film The Kids Are All Right â€“ which stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a lesbian couple whose kids track down their sperm donor father â€“ is being developed into a new HBO series.
It’s a heavy topic, that’s for sure, and I’m looking forward to the new HBO series. As for Hatch, well, not so much. His motive seems to be way more about making money than helping others. Then again, I don’t know the guy â€“ he could be fabulous/wonderful/legit. But something about his obsession with reality TV turns me off.