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Locals not ‘Buckwild’ for show

New MTV?program dubbed ‘Jersey Shore’ of Appalachia

December 8, 2012
By Anthony Gaynor - Staff Writer ( , The Inter-Mountain

"Buckwild," a new reality show set in West Virginia, is set to debut on MTV on Jan. 3, but local leaders worry the show will not portray residents of the Mountain State in a positive light.

A trailer of the show has recently been released and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is asking that the show be canceled.

Manchin describes the show as a travesty and said he is repulsed at the venture. In a letter to MTV President Stephen K. Friedman, Manchin accuses MTV of preying on young people and coaxing them into displaying "shameful behavior."

The new show has been described as an Appalachian version of the canceled MTV reality show "Jersey Shore."

"This show plays to ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia," Manchin states in his letter. "Let me tell you: our people have given their all for this great country."

The "Buckwild" trailer shows young people engaging in drinking, fistfights and other rowdy behavior. Elkins Mayor Duke Talbott said he doesn't support anything that glamorizes alcohol or drug abuse.

"Glamorizing it is misleading," Talbott said. "It is about the most shameful thing you can do."

Talbott said he hopes people who watch the show are sophisticated enough to look past the stereotypes.

"We have wonderful people in West Virginia," he said. "We have a lot going for us. We have an unemployment rate lower than the national level and several wonderful communities. It (the state) speaks for itself."

The trailer shows the program's stars in homes that are not finished and yards packed with old cars. The trailer also features shots of the cast engaging in physical altercations.

"You can find those things anywhere in the world," Talbott said. "Normal people want to see the positive side of things."

Randolph County Convention and Visitor's Bureau Executive Director Brenda Pritt is afraid that the show will not only hurt the tourism industry in the state, but further perpetuate negative stereotypes Mountain State residents have fought against.

"The impression that people have always had of West Virginia is that we are uneducated and hillbillies," she said. "We are trying to overcome that."

Pritt said it is wrong "to show this."

"Everywhere has areas like that," she said. "There are wonderful things here. I think it will hurt tourism in West Virginia. If you saw this, would you want to bring your children here? I don't agree with (the show) at all."

Del. Bill Hartman, D-Randolph, said he believes the negative aspects of the show could shed a bad light on the Mountain State.

"Anytime you cast anyone in a derogatory light some people are bound to believe it," he said. "It could have negative effects on the state."

Hartman said he would be in support of a "concerted effort" to bring MTV and the producers of the show to task.

"I think it is absolutely ridiculous, some of the entertainment that is being put out there," Hartman said. "It is all a money game. I would be in favor of some uniform campaign to remove the show."



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