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'Buckwild,' new MTV reality show, draws wrath of W.Va. senator

December 11, 2012|By Richard Simon

WASHINGTON -- Although states are usually eager for Hollywood to come calling, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is asking MTV to cancel a TV show that he says "plays to ugly, inaccurate stereotypes” of his state.

"Buckwild" has been compared to an Appalachian version of "Jersey Shore." The show, according to MTV, follows a group of nine "young, carefree and adventurous friends" living in West Virginia who find “unique ways to create their own fun. From transforming a dump truck into a pool party to building a human sling shot, they live their lives loud and proud without restrictions."

The Democratic senator, in a letter to MTV President Stephen K. Friedman, said, "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. ‘’

Manchin complained that the program  offers “nothing about the major issues of our time: how we move our country forward, how we prepare young people to lead this country and take responsibility for themselves and how we put our finances in better shape for the next generation.” He asked Friedman if he would portray “your own state, your own community and your own children … in this light?

An MTV spokeswoman declined to comment. The show is scheduled to premiere Jan. 3.  

Manchin isn’t the first senator to complain about how his state would be depicted by Hollywood. In 2003, then-Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia took to the Senate floor to complain about plans to resurrect "The Beverly Hillbillies“ TV show with real people from Appalachia moving into a Beverly Hills mansion. He objected that it would serve only to humiliate poor, rural Americans.

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richard.simon@latimes.com

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