Danny Roberts came into The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans to reconnect with his roommates and he recently revealed that production cut out his story about living with HIV. Fans were first introduced to Danny in The Real World: New Orleans in 2000 when much of the world was changing. Danny opened up about being a gay man growing up in Atlanta. During his time on the show, he was in a relationship with Paul Dill, who was an officer in the military during the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. Danny tried to protect Paul’s identity by asking MTV to blur his face but in a momentous moment, the couple agreed to allow the cameras to show them together unblurred.
During his time in The Real World Homecoming, Danny revisited his experience in The Real World: New Orleans. He recalled being reluctant to be a spokesperson for gay rights but eventually embraced the responsibility. Danny spoke to his castmate Matt Smith, who is a devout Catholic, about how he viewed gay rights to this day. Matt had struggled with Danny’s lifestyle during their season together and still admitted to not understanding it through a religious perspective. Still, the two friends have made strides since 2000.
While Danny has been an open book about his journey, The Real World alum recently revealed to the Los Angeles Times that production chose not to air his HIV story. Danny shared, “I just kept waiting: ‘Are they going to shoehorn this into the end?’ And then I realized, ‘Wow, that’s the end of it.’ And they absolutely cut it. It feels like a huge missed opportunity.” Danny had been diagnosed with HIV around 2011 and went public with the news in 2018. He had gone into The Real World Homecoming with the intention of talking about the healthcare system and how it affected him. “There was so much to unpack,” Danny bemoaned.
Danny shared how he spoke to a Paramount+ producer about his HIV story and had been told that his storyline was cut due to legal issues. However, Danny stated, “Their reasoning is so silly. I don’t buy it for a second.” He hinted that production was more interested in giving his castmate Julie Stoffer more airtime as her story was more scandalous and interesting. Julie was another controversial cast member of The Real World: New Orleans due to her Mormon background that clashed with her desire to experience life. During her time in The Real World Homecoming, Julie was criticized for trying to stir up trouble for a bigger storyline.
Although Danny’s HIV storyline had been cut from The Real World Homecoming, the reality star was able to open up about his diagnosis in 2018. He shared that had fainted one day and called his doctor out of concern. The doctor had received his HIV diagnosis and had planned on sharing the news to Danny in person but instead told him over the phone. Despite initially being shocked, Danny has used his platform to bring awareness to HIV and its different treatments. Although The Real World producers decided not to bring focus to the topic in The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans, Danny is still finding a way to share his story.