Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., is calling on MTV to cancel its new reality show about a group of West Virginian friends, decrying the program as a "travesty," and claiming it exploits troubled young people and plays to "ugly" stereotypes about the people and culture in his state.
Manchin, a conservative Democrat, wrote a letter to MTV President Stephen Friedman urging him to "put a stop to the travesty called 'Buckwild,'" which is slated to air in January on the network.
"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. I cannot imagine that anyone who loves this country would feel proud about profiting off of 'Buckwild,'" Manchin wrote in his letter. "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."
The show, which is described on MTV's website as a show about "nine young, carefree and adventurous friends" who "find unique ways to create their own fun," is replacing "Jersey Shore" in the network's Thursday night lineup. Based on the preview, which features the show's stars fighting, drinking, body licking, arguing with neighbors, and flinging themselves out of human slingshots, "Buckwild" appears aimed at appealing to a Snooki-friendly demographic.
"This show plays to ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia," Manchin wrote."I am writing to urge you to reconsider airing this show. I hope that as you consider your decision, that you would consider your own state, your own community and your own children. Would you try to portray them in this light?"
An MTV spokesperson for the show declined to comment.