'Top Chef' Finalist's Child Porn Indictment Burns the Show's Reputation

Morgan WilsonIn extremely disturbing news from the land of reality television, former Top Chef Just Desserts contestant Morgan Wilson has been indicted for possession and intent to distribute child pornography. According to People, last December, undercover investigators found pictures and videos on his computer of young children -- some just toddlers -- engaging in sexual acts.

The thought makes me nauseated and breaks my heart. Wilson was the runner-up on the show's first season, and while I didn't watch that one, he was apparently an angry sort, who lashed out frequently. Sadly, he also was said to have frequently mentioned his small son. The fact that he has a child makes this even worse.


It's not like we're not used to seeing bad behavior from reality television stars, but this is particularly disturbing. Plus, this guy is a talented chef, not just some chump out to sell his soul for a few minutes of fame on any old show. When it comes to reality television, there are tiers, in my mind anyway. On the lowest tier, there are the sleazy, drama-filled ones we watch because we like train wrecks (anyone remember Are You Hot?), and we know they attract a certain kind of person. Not child porn lovers usually, thankfully, but when we hear about their off-screen failings, we're not so surprised.

But Top Chef and its spin-offs are in a higher tier -- the ones it takes actual talent to be on. That doesn't mean everyone selected is automatically an upright and moral citizen, but the chances seem better. So it's especially sad to see a show that's not known for sleazy drama to be tainted by Wilson's alleged crimes -- and such heinous ones at that.

And the timing couldn't be worse -- the second season finale is this Wednesday. Not that Top Chef Just Desserts had anything to do with his alleged behavior, but the news definitely casts it in an ugly shadow.

Most unfortunately, however, Wilson's indictment shows us that people with these warped ideas about children and sex are likely all around us, where we least suspect them -- people we may look at every day, on-screen and off. And that's a reality no one wants to see, but we all need to know.

Did you watch season one, and if so, does this news surprise you?

Image via Bravo

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