The struggling families who featured on Nine’s TV show The Briefcase were lied to before they signed up to the reality program.
The couples were told they were making a show called Making Ends Meet, but it was something completely different.
'We told people we were doing a show called Making Ends Meet, in which we were going to come and speak to them about their financial situation and provide some financial advice," Andrew Backwell, head of programming and production at Nine told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Instead, the couples were given a briefcase with $100,000 cash in it and were faced with a moral dilemma: do they keep the cash, give some of it away, or; give all of it away to another ‘deserving family’.
The show was slammed on social media for being 'cruel' and 'morally bankrupt,' but Backwell defended the program saying, 'We've tried to go with average families that have fallen on hard times. Not by being slack or lazy or not giving a shit, but through no fault of their own. You're going to look at them and feel some compassion.
'We wanted to find ordinary middle-class families that had fallen on hard times… It wasn't people putting up their hands for help. It was people looking to share their story of what happened to them.'