NBC reportedly pumped the brakes on the production of its upcoming reality gameshow “Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide” after news broke that an “explosive diarrhea” outbreak affected dozens of crewmembers in June 2021.
Production was reportedly halted after a crew member tested positive for giardia, a parasite that causes diarrhea when swallowed. Entertainment site Wrap News was first to report the incident and cited an unnamed source as having described the outbreak as an “awful explosive diarrhea” episode that left people “collapsing” on set and “being forced to run into port-o-potties.”
Snopes contacted the NBC media relations team to confirm the episode but did not receive a response in time for publication. As we await confirmation, we have rated this claim as “Research in Progress.”
The show’s production company, Universal Television Alternative Studios, reportedly confirmed the shutdown in a statement sent to People.
“The health and safety of everyone on our set is our number one priority, so out of an abundance of caution we have made the decision to stop production of Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide at the current location,” the spokesperson reportedly said. “We are in the process of determining next steps in order to complete production.”
According to the publication, the shutdown began on June 2 when at least one crew member tested positive for the microscopic parasite. At the time, there was one week of scheduled production left. Water on the set was reportedly tested by a third-party environmental lab in cooperation with the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health and the Ventura County Public Health. Samples from several water areas — including a well, pond, slide pool, water truck, and restroom sinks — all initially tested negative for giardia. But additional testing that was received on June 10 showed giardia in areas surrounding the set.
Snopes contacted both agencies to confirm the details reported by People as well as to receive copies of the reports. We did not hear back but will update the article accordingly.
Giardia is a tiny parasite that causes a condition known as the diarrheal disease giardiasis. The microscopic germ is found on surfaces or in soil, food, or water that has been contaminated with feces from infected people or animals.
“You can get giardiasis if you swallow Giardia germs. Giardia spreads easily and can spread from person to person or through contaminated water, food, surfaces, or objects. The most common way people get sick is by swallowing contaminated drinking water or recreational water,” notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Described in a news release as a “fresh take on Wham-O’s iconic 1960s outdoor game,” the “wet-and-wild new series takes the spirit of the classic backyard slide and transforms it into a real-life water park full of gigantic slippery rides with the chance to take home a big cash prize.”
It is not yet known whether the outbreak will affect the Aug. 8 premiere date of the competition gameshow.