We broke the news last month that miners Dakota Fred Hurt and son Dustin Hurt would not be returning for Gold Rush Season 5, and it was later revealed that they are instead working on their own documentary titled All That Glitters. So why did Dakota Fred not come back? The candid mining vet took to Facebook yesterday and revealed what everyone suspected: it mostly came down to money.
Here’s Fred’s explanation in its entirety from his Facebook page:
Why we are not on “Gold Rush” this fall…….. this may be news to many…… I am not rich….. I am a working class guy like most of you. After spending more for four years straight than I made, there was no way for me to continue.
But the main reason is simple……and I quote….”If you want a Miner, call me…….if you want an Actor, pay me like one.”
Dustin and I were “hard to work with”. Interpretation ?……we did not go along with every cocamainy idea the film people dreamed up……
Corporate beancounters also wanted to consolidate their operation after a disastrous South American season. They also layed out mega millions to buy the company filming Gold Rush.
Sssssooo……as we were the ‘Red Headed Stepchild’, we were on our own…….
Hand me lemons…..I’ll make lemonade…..
One commenter wrote, “From what I understood each miner made $22,000 per episode. I won’t mention who, but a cast member confirmed this personally to me. So my question was, what kind of pay were you looking for Fred? $400,000 a season us a nice chunk of change even if your season isn’t profitable.”
Fred responded to that by clarifying, “the Other crews may have been paid that…… 5 members of my crew got $0 , only their share of gold produced. We were not compensated for any of our operating expenses as the Others were. My compensation per episode was a joke….less than a third of the Others. Bottom line…..I’m entertaining millions of people using my own resources ……and Discovery is pocketing all the profit…. Freddie”
On a previous post Fred responded to someone stating they heard Fred left because of money. “Discovery spent $12 million filming the jungle fiasco and less than $1 m filming us,” Fred says. “We have always been treated like the Red-Headed Stepchild by the Network.”
As most Gold Rush fans probably know, the “jungle fiasco” Fred is referring to is the Hoffman crew’s ill-fated venture south of the Equator to mine for gold and tiny, not-very-valuable diamonds in Guyana, South America.
As we previously reported, Dakota Fred is still in Alaska mining and is still doing it in front of cameras, but his 2014 mining season will be featured in the documentary All That Glitters. “It was time for me to venture off into something more realistic,” Fred said when the official announcement was made about his new venture.
There is no word yet if Discovery plans on replacing Fred and Dustin with another crew, or if they will just stick with Parker Schnabel and the Hoffmans — perhaps with one or the other splitting into two different mining locations. As many commenters pointed out on Fred’s post, he and Dustin brought a great deal of mining legitimacy to the show, which otherwise features a seemingly endless string of fumbles from Todd Hoffman. Or, as one disappointed Facebook commenter put it after finding out Fred and Dustin would not be back, “Thats a shame… I guess I’ll just watch a bunch of clowns break stuff and dig holes in the ground”
So, if no one else is added, young Parker Schnabel will have to carry the mantle of competent miner all by himself — with the occasional profanity-laden appearance by the venerable Viking himself, Tony Beets.
And in case you were wondering what Fred was referring to when he wrote, “They also layed out mega millions to buy the company filming Gold Rush,” it was announced in March that Discovery had purchased the UK production company Raw, which made Gold Rush as well as other shows like Unexplained Files, and Dangerous Persuasions. Though the financial details were not released, it was reported that they shelled out upwards of $300 million in the deal. That’s a lot of pickers right there!