Web Exclusive: Reality show debuts with Reeva Steenkamp; Causing controversy

Web Exclusive: Reality show debuts with Reeva Steenkamp; Causing controversy

(CNN/Stimulii) - A South African television network made a controversial decision to debut a reality show featuring Reeva Steenkamp.  It aired just two days after Steenkamp was allegedly shot and killed by her boyfriend, Olympic running sensation, Oscar Pistorius.

South Africans were able to listen to the loving first words heard from Reeva Steenkamp in the reality show. "You just fall in love with being in love with love."

This is how her light-hearted reality show "Tropika Island of Treasure 5," began on Saturday, airing on SABC1. It quickly became a topic of debate.

Prosecutors plan to charge Oscar Pistorius with premeditated murder in Steenkamp's death, something he strongly "rejects."  He goes back to court Tuesday, but with so few facts available on what happened, and with her death occurring only a few days ago, critics say the decision to air her show is opportunistic.

Samantha Moon, the shows creator explained her decision in this statement to CNN: "Reeva was an intelligent, beautiful and amazing woman, and we feel it would be an injustice to keep that unknown from those who didn't know her personally."

Reaction is mixed.

"They're gonna make money out of it and it's just too much," says a South Africa resident.

"It gives people a good memory of her," says another woman. 

"If I was a producer of the reality show itself, I would think business," says another South Africa resident. 

"I think the decision is maybe a bit inappropriate, considering the tragic outcome of what happened," says a man in South Africa. 

"It's a tribute to her life. I mean you're keeping her spirit going," another woman said.

Producers also included a clip of Steenkamp, which appears to be taken from her goodbye message to the cast.  "I take home with me so many amazing memories and things that are in here and in here that I'll treasure forever. I'm gonna miss you all so much and I love you very, very much," said Steenkamp before her death. 

Even with the controversy, the program will continue to air weekly for nine more episodes.  The fate of the blade runner is far more uncertain.


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