President-elect Donald Trump isn’t the only politician who’s done reality TV. Former governor Sarah Palin had a show about her life in Alaska, while two prominent politicians have appeared on the UK’s version of ‘Dancing with the Stars.’
But the outgoing US ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford has taken things one step further, likely becoming the first politician to star in a reality show while in office.
His series ‘I Am the Ambassador From America’ earned him the Danish equivalent of an Emmy and recently premiered worldwide on Netflix and iTunes.
The show has gained such traction with viewers across the country that Gifford, his husband and their dog, have become national celebrities.
Speaking to CNN, Gifford said he never imagined the show would achieve this level of success.
“The original intent was how do you get people in their 20s to pay attention to what an ambassador does? Because they actually don’t care,” Gifford said.
“The idea behind this is to get people to pay attention. And sometimes they will pay attention to a person… and hopefully, that gradually moves into interest into the work that we do.”
These days, Gifford can hardly step out the door without being asked for a selfie from fans and although not everyone agrees with his decision to embrace reality TV, Gifford said the risk has been worth it.
“I’d rather be criticized doing what I’m doing than having people not pay attention to it.”