|Education||BA in English|
|Alma mater||Georgetown University|
|Occupation||Radio podcast host|
|Known for||The Real World: Seattle cast member, 1998|
Irene McGee is the host of No One's Listening, a podcast about the mass media, currently on The Progressive Radio Network. She came to public attention in 1998 as a cast member of the MTV reality television series, The Real World: Seattle. McGee left the show during filming, citing illness, but later claimed she actually left because of ethical objections to the production.
The Real World: Seattle
McGee appeared on the show's seventh season, The Real World: Seattle, in 1998, during which she was described by The Seattle Times as "the cynical girl from New York state." During filming, she appeared sick and was suffering from headaches, and during the 14th episode, she told the others that she had Lyme disease, then left during the next episode. As she was leaving, a heated exchange with another housemate, Stephen Williams, ended with him opening the passenger door of her car and slapping her. The producers gave the cast the decision as to whether to evict Williams, and they decided to let him stay if he would attend anger-management therapy. Activist Jello Biafra discussed the event:
- "We know Real World is not the real world. I recently met a woman named Irene McGee who quit this show and said not even the house was real. The fridges were all filled to the brim with Vlasic pickles delivered daily by the crate load along with gallons of Nantucket Nectar. If she drank anything else, the crew took it from her hand and made sure the Nantucket Nectar label was facing the camera instead. When she walked out, another guy in the cast of Real World hit her and the camera guy did nothing . . . When she spoke out, MTV sued her. And Entertainment Weekly rated Irene getting smash mouthed the 47th most interesting event on TV that whole year . . . Can’t you MTV think of a better way to raise audience awareness of domestic violence than to make it look cool?"
Despite her explanation of Lyme Disease as the reason for her departure from filming, she later claimed in a taped interview aired during the 2000 reunion show, The Real World Reunion 2000, that the true reason was her ethical objections to aspects of the show's production.
While earning a Masters Degree in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts from San Francisco State University, McGee began a youth-oriented radio show/podcast, No One's Listening, broadcast out of the University. The show has included interviews with Noam Chomsky, Lawrence Lessig, Brewster Kahle, Violet Blue, and Jimmy Wales, and won the 2006 Pubbie Award as Best Bay Area Podcast by the San Francisco Bay Area Publicity Club. She has spoken to colleges about media manipulation and reality television, and has appeared on VH1 and E! Entertainment Television. She has also been involved with a documentary about Lyme Disease, Under Our Skin: The Untold Story of Lyme Disease. For a few weeks in 2008 she hosted a Revision3 show, Social Brew.
- Fong-Torres, Ben. "Radio Waves". The San Francisco Chronicle. December 4, 2005.
- Mcfarland, Melanie Mcfarland. "Mtv's Series Appears `Real' In Name Only", The Seattle Times, June 12, 1998.
- Bio for Irene McGee, irenemcgee.com, accessed June 14, 2010.
- '"The Truth About Irene". 'The Real World. season 7, episode 140, aired September 15, 1998. "Irene Calls It Quits". The Real World. season 7, episode 15, aired September 22, 1998.
- "Irene Calls It Quits". The Real World. season 7, episode 15, aired September 22, 1998.
- "Irene Calls It Quits". The Real World: Seattle. Season 7. Episode 15. September 22, 1998. MTV. http://www.mtv.com/shows/realworld-season7/episode.jhtml?episodeID=47221.
- "The Aftermath of 'The Slap'". The Real World: Seattle. Season 7. Episode 16. MTV.
- "The Aftermath of the Slap". The Real World. season 7, episode 16, aired September 29, 1998.
- Biafra, Jello. "Become the Media". Become the Media. San Francisco: Alternative Tentacles. 2000.
- The Real World Reunion 2000. MTV. May 6, 2000
- "'The Real World' Stars: Where Are They Now?". The Huffington Post/AOL TV. March 4, 2008.
- Itelson, Matt. "'Real World' star studies media for her master's", San Francisco State University, December 9, 2005, accessed June 15, 2010.
- No One's Listening website; "No One's Listening Guest List". Retrieved 2007-02-11.
- "SFBAPC Announces Winners of its 2006 Media Excellence Awards – “The Pubbies”". Retrieved 2007-02-11.
- "Under Our Skin: The Untold Story of Lyme Disease". Open Eye Pictures. Retrieved 2006-02-01.
- Social Brew - Revision3, accessed June 15, 2010; Social Brew is Cancelled - Revision3 Forums, accessed June 15, 2010.