Siesta Key is facing backlash as one of its cast members celebrates a milestone birthday. The MTV reality show about privileged twenty-somethings in a Florida beach town features plenty of drinking and partying, often at the house of wealthy castmate Alex Kompothecras. But the Siesta Key star’s girlfriend, Juliette Porter, is only now turning 21 years old.
After Kompothecras posted a sweet birthday message to his “queen” complete with a #finally21 hashtag, the post was slammed with negative comments from viewers who couldn’t believe Porter was drinking on camera when she was underage. Some viewers slammed MTV for promoting illegal underage drinking.
“[MTV] you’re basically telling the young kids yes it’s ok to drink underage and not get caught. Like come on have common sense!” one viewer wrote.
“It’s not that we’re shocked they are drinking under 21 but the fact that MTV was even allowing to show that,” another commented.
“Doesn’t matter what we think is ok and not okay, it’s still against the law and I don’t see how MTV can allow that,” an irate viewer wrote, while another added, “Just so every knows, most of the cast is 22 or 23 making them legal, J is the baby. So she should have NOT been drinking during the season.”
Another fan noted of Porter, “In her story she just posted a pic of someone else’s ID saying she doesn’t need it anymore. This whole time I thought she was 22.”
During the filming of Siesta Key’s first season, Juliette Porter never hid the fact that she wasn’t 21. In February, she tweeted, “My boyfriend and my mom are going to be so excited when I turn 21 so they won’t have to hear me b*tch anymore.”
When a commenter asked her, “I guess MTV promotes underage drinking? And those bars that you go too,” Porter fired back with, “Actually no try again.”
It’s unclear how involved MTV was in Porter’s underage activities, if at all, but camera crews filmed plenty of party scenes with the cast. Last fall, Porter told The Morning Breath that Siesta Key is completely unscripted, so it sounds like producers just film the cast’s activities as they see them.
As for potential backlash against the show, Juliette Porter previously said she doesn’t let online haters get her down.
“I don’t ever react to that kind of stuff,” the Florida State University student told Your Observer. “I want to show that we’re good kids. We have good values, we have goals, and we’re normal people as well.”
While Siesta Key ended its first season with some unanswered questions regarding Juliette’s on-and-off romantic relationship with Alex, his birthday post (and several earlier ones) make it very clear this couple is back together—and now they can toast to it.