‘Gold Rush: Alaska’: Why Did Jim Dorsey Leave the Show?

by Amy Myers

The Gold Rush franchise has seen plenty of exits from its main series and spinoffs over the years. Sometimes, the departures are a result of some unforgivable mistakes, but other times, it’s because the workers have had enough of the mining industry and the grueling hours that come with it.

Former star Jim Dorsey is one of the many that didn’t last very long into the series. In fact, the crew member was a part of Todd Hoffman’s team back when the show’s name was Gold Rush: Alaska in its first season. Just a few months into Dorsey’s only year of mining, he had to throw in the towel. But it wasn’t because of the actual hard labor. Rather, it was because of the impact that the camera crew had on the reality aspect of the series.

“They would tell me to say, ‘We’ve got [to] get gold in seventy hours,’ so I say, ‘We’ve got to get gold in seventy-two hours,'” he explained to Looper. “Then they would say ‘What are you going to do if you don’t get gold in seventy-two hours?’ And I am like ‘I don’t know you just told me to say seventy hours.’ Then they said ‘What are you going to do if you don’t get gold?’ They push you towards saying I was going to leave if we did not find gold. It was never my intention to leave. My plan was staying the entire summer and seeing it out.”

Dorsey added that he didn’t earn much money from his exploits on Gold Rush, anyway. He only came away with about $3,000 from his time on the series.

‘Gold Rush: Alaska’ Star Claimed Camera Crew Even Scripted Departure

According to Dorsey, the impact of the camera crew didn’t just end with the stars’ confessionals. Apparently, the producers even wrote in his departure from the show.

“Every formatted documentary is scripted. It is scripted from the beginning,” he said. “They knew exactly what they wanted to see out of the program. Even me leaving was scripted, but in the way in which it happened was not. The plans were made, but the footsteps were ours.”

Towards the end of his Gold Rush career, Dorsey even got into a fistfight with another crew member. He claimed that the camera crew even tried to influence the tense situation. While he clarified that the production team didn’t plan for the fight, they did try to give them direction.

“They actually direct you into these situations,” he shared with Oregon Gold. “I was assaulted by Greg. He broke my ribs. That was very real, but it was also in the script for Episode 4, which ended up being Episode 6, that I would end up leaving the show.”