Fame Culture Fail: Man With 100-lb Scrotum Refuses Surgery After Moderate TV Stardom

It's been clear ever since TMZ began breaking legitimate stories that our fame culture has gotten out of control. But it's one thing when paparazzi stalks Kim Kardashian's ladies luncheons, and very much another when the draw of fame threatens the life of an ordinary citizen.

That's what's happening with Wesley Warren Jr, who has a rare disease that's caused his scrotum to swell to 100 pounds. Initially, the Las Vegas man made his syndrome known so he could try to raise money for an operation and live a normal life—his predicament is so dire that he must wear a hoodie over his genitals when he leaves the house to cover them properly. But after receiving interest from television and documentary programs—including stints on Howard Stern, Comedy Central and TLC—he's now apparently refusing offers for free corrective surgery. The Daily Mail:


Mr Warren, 47, claimed he was going public to raise money so he could afford the operation -- which would require a trip to a special surgeon at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center.

'I don't like being a freak, who would?' he told the Review-Journal.

Fast-forward six months after Mr Warren's story spread across the globe. He grinned as he told the same reporter about his appearance on Tosh.0.

'It was fun going to Los Angeles in the big van they sent for me,' he said.

Most disturbing, is his reaction to an offer he received from Dr Mehmet Oz, the celebrity physician whom Oprah made famous. 

Mr Warren claims the Dr Oz Show said it would pay for the entire surgery at a top-notch hospital. However, the show would keep exclusive rights to tell Mr Warren's story. 


He said he didn't take the TV program up on its offer because Howard Stern wanted him on his show again. 

It's understandable that Warren wouldn't want Dr. Oz bogarting his pain, whether he's in it for the fame or not. But Dr. Joel Gelman, a specialist at UCLA, has offered to perform the surgery for free, and Warren still hasn't responded. The most depressing part of this story is not just that Warren is being treated as a celebrity because of his syndrome, but that those who invited him are using it for cheap laughs. Don't blame Warren—it's the fault of our gross fame culture, shallow and distracting. Best of luck to Warren in getting help.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at June 20, 2012, 10:43am