MTV has decided to cancel Buckwild, one of the network’s most popular shows, following last week’s tragic death of a cast member. The decision, expected to be announced officially today, has reportedly enraged the show’s producer.
Buckwild follows the raucous antics of several young adults living in rural West Virginia. The reality show has been blasted with harsh criticism for perpetuating small town stereotypes since its debut in January. The death of cast member Shain Gandee in a mudding accident last week appears to have prompted MTV to pull the plug in an effort to avoid further controversy.
MTV’s decision to cancel Buckwild, drew the wrath of the show’s producer JP Williams, who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter once word of the network’s intent circulated in the media.
“This is the network that has shows about teen pregnancy.” Williams raged. “They’ll stick by a show that allows you to abandon a child, but a kid dies by accident doing what he does for a living [mudding] and they cancel the show?”
“There’s something that smells of s— here on every level,” he added.
Activities like off-roading and mudding, which essentially involves forced spinning of a utility vehicle in muddy areas, are often at the forefront of the show.
Sometimes referred to as the “Redneck Jersey Shore,” Buckwild tends to celebrate the types of activities typically carried out in rural areas.
Last week, 21-year-old Shain Gandee and two companions were killed during a mudding accident. The three men reportedly succumbed to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning when the tailpipe of their vehicle became clogged with mud. In the wake of the tragedy, MTV halted production on the show, which had reportedly completed filming the first four episodes of its second season.
According to Williams, the network indicated on Friday that the show would continue. However, on Tuesday, MTV executives abruptly switched gears and informed producers of their decision to cancel Buckwild. Williams, who also serves as manager for several of the show’s cast members, says that the network offered no explanation for the cancellation.
In a statement issued by MTV shortly afters news of Gandee’s death made headlines, the network avoided the topic of the show’s future:
“We are shocked and saddened by the terrible news about Shain Gandee, and those involved in this tragic incident. We are waiting for more information but at this time, our main concern is for the Gandee family and their friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. Shain had a magnetic personality, with a passion for life that touched everyone he met and we will miss him dearly.”
According to Williams, MTV’s decision to cancel Buckwild does not signal the end of the show. He reportedly intends to continue filming and is looking into the possibility of bringing Buckwild to the big screen. He’s even willing to front the cost of continuing if it proves necessary. “My job is to protect these kids,” he explained. “This will get ugly.”
Do you agree with MTV’s decision to cancelBuckwild?
[Top image via Wikipedia]