Discovery Channel kicked off Shark Week by taking a bite out of their fan support. The networked opened their 26th week-long series dedicated to sharks with a riveting documentary . . . that turned out to be fake.
On Sunday, Aug. 5, Shark Week debuted with the two-hour special, Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives. As noted by Gawker, the following disclaimer was briefly flashed onscreen at the end of the show: "None of the institutions or agencies that appear in the film are affiliated with it in any way, nor have approved its contents. Though certain events and characters in this film have been dramatized, sightings of 'Submarine' continue to this day. Megalodon was a real shark. Legends of giant sharks persist all over the world. There is still debate about what they might be."
"Shark week has become like a reality TV show . . . too fake this year! #megalodon #wasteoftime," one outraged viewer tweeted. Another duped Shark Week fan wrote, "Was pretty pumped about @SharkWeek until they kicked it off with fake documentary about #megalodon."
Michael Sorensen, executive producer of Shark Week, defended the Megalodon special to Fox News. "With a whole week of Shark Week programming ahead of us, we wanted to explore the possibilities of Megalodon," he said. "It's one of the most debated shark discussions of all time, can Megalodon exist today? It's Ultimate Shark Week fantasy. The stories have been out there for years and with 95% of the ocean unexplored, who really knows?"
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