Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-WV) isn’t too wild about MTV’s new reality show, “Buckwild.” The show is scheduled to debut next month and follows a group of nine twenty-somethings living in and around Sissonville, WV, a town of 4,000 residents about 35 miles from the capital of Charleston. The show has been described as “The ‘Jersey Shore’ of Appalachia.”
It’s a lot driving trucks dangerously through mud, tearing up the trails on ATVs and motorcycles, drinking, body licking, fighting with neighbors and each other, and doing Jackass-y stunts that sometimes involve construction equipment.
Buckwild debuts Jan. 3 at 10 p.m., and MTV will be airing two half-hour episodes back-to-back each week for six weeks.
In the case of “Buckwild,” Manchin said he’s only seen previews for the show — but that the teases that staffers showed him were enough to compel him to send a letter to MTV President Stephen Friedman asking that the network “put a stop to the travesty called ‘Buckwild,’” reports the Washington Post.
“As a U.S. Senator, I am repulsed at this business venture, where some Americans are making money off of the poor decisions of our youth,” Manchin wrote. “I cannot imagine that anyone who loves this country would feel proud profiting off of ‘Buckwild.’ Instead of showcasing the beauty of our people and our state, you preyed on young people, coaxed them into displaying shameful behavior — and now you are profiting from it. That is just wrong.”
In an interview before sending the letter, Manchin repeatedly called MTV’s decision “just awful…I have no problem with people in this country trying to earn a profit, but I would ask them: Would they do this to their own children, in their own neighborhood, in their own home state?” Manchin said.
He added, “This show plays to ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia,” he said. “Let me tell you: People have given their all for this great country. They’ve done the heavy lifting to produce the energy that is needed to produce the steel that builds our factories and cities,” he wrote. “The proud veterans of our state have shed more blood and made more sacrifices than most other states to keep America free.”
RBR-TVBR observation: We saw the clip, too and it really is about young adults having fun and raising some hell. MTV is now known as the master of reality shows of this type and age demo. They could pick any town in any state and it would be pretty much the same theme and content with rural folks of this age demo. Manchin shouldn’t think this makes West Virginia itself look bad, and these kids/families are not evil or anything.