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Sen. Joe Manchin writes letter to MTV asking for cancellation of “Buckwild”

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U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., wrote a letter to MTV Dec. 7 asking the network to cancel its plans to air the television show "Buckwild," which is set in West Virginia.

The show, slated to run in January in the same time slot as "Jersey Shore," has released several promotional video clips.

Manchin described "Buckwild" as a "travesty," and in his letter he said he is "repulsed at this business venture."

"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 wrote to Stephen K. Friedman, president of MTV.

Manchin went on to say in his letter that the show plays to ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia.

"I am writing to urge you to reconsider airing this show," Manchin wrote. "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?"

Manchin took to his official Twitter account Dec. 5 with three posts about the subject after a satire news site wrote an article claiming that "Buckwild" was canceled at Manchin's urging.

"To clear up confusion on ‘Buckwild,' I wish I could take credit for stopping anything that portrays #WV poorly, but this story is satire," Manchin posted on Twitter. "It's a shame that people are making money off so-called entertainment when they should be teaching people how to be more responsible adults.

"My message to MTV is this: One day this could be your kids, and I hope you put a stop to such an inaccurate and despicable portrayal."

Manchin had success with a similar situation in 2008 when he was governor.

Producers of the movie "Shelter," described as a horror thriller, issued what its own producers described as an insensitive casting call for extras with unusual features to appear in a scene set in a "West Virginia holler," according to The Associated Press at the time.

The move was not set in West Virginia, nor was the Mountain State mentioned, but the casting call asked for extras who were "extraordinarily tall or short, those with unusual body shapes and unusual facial features, especially eyes, and even people with physical abnormalities as long as they have normal mobility."

Criticism came from Manchin, U.S. Reps. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., along with the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va.

The casting director of Shelter was dismissed as a result.

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