West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III has written a letter to MTV President Stephen Friedman asking him to pull what the Democratic lawmaker refers to as "the travesty called ‘Buckwild,’" The Washington Post reports.
As previously reported, "Buckwild" is MTV’s replacement for "Jersey Shore," and features nine young friends in West Virginia doing "Jackass"-style stunts.
While Manchin said he has only seen the show’s previews, he wrote, "I am repulsed at this business venture, where some Americans are making money off of the poor decisions of our youth," the story says. He added, "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.”
An executive producer for the show, John Stevens of Zoo Productions, defended the program to EW.com’s Inside TV.
"It’s not like looking at a train wreck," Stevens said. He added, "[I]t’s going to get people talking and it might change people’s perspectives. These kids are totally wild and carefree. It will be very refreshing to the MTV audience.”
Stevens said he found the group featured on the show while filming another reality program in West Virginia. He added that the appeal of the show stems from the teens’ lack of technology, particularly one youth who has no cell phone and avoids TV.
But in Sen. Manchin’s view the show is unfair to his state, according to The Post. “This show plays to ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia,” he said in an interview last week.
Manchin’s letter adds: “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. The proud veterans of our state have shed more blood and made more sacrifices than most other states to keep America free.”