MTV Ruins 'Teen Mom' Amber Portwood's Rehab for Ratings

Amber PortwoodThe future just got dimmer for Teen Mom star Amber Portwood. Settled in the expensive Seasons Recovery Center in Malibu, California, on the heels of her suicide attempt, the Indiana girl is far away from her legal troubles, daughter Leah, boyfriend Gary Shirley, and everything that sent her on a downward spiral into depression. But the MTV cameras aren't going to let her forget.


The documentary show's cameramen have followed Portwood to California, where they're chronicling her rehab stint for the show! The whole thing is allegedly going to play out right in front of us on Tuesday nights.

If it doesn't sound much like your typical rehab, where people are separated from their environment to help them fight their demons, you're right. Brother Shawn Portwood -- who has been working to bring Amber to live with him in Nashville when she's out of rehab -- has qualms about the TV show's access:

They filmed a scene where she and I talked on the phone the other day. Her doctor and I do not agree with it, but there's nothing I can do.

The doctor says no, and the cameras are there? So much for rehab turning her around! Granted, Seasons is a bit more "loose" than other facilities of its kind. Rather than cutting visitors out, after the "detox phase," friends and family are invited in for regular visits. Apparently "camera crew" falls under the latter.

It's possible Portwood is doing this to keep the money coming in. Obviously, if the camera's off, she's not making anything. And she's got legal bills to pay thanks to the CPS investigation we're watching unfold on the current season of the show.

But rumors that MTV may be paying for Portwood's entire stay make for a compelling case that the network is doing everything it can not to lose precious taping time with the explosive character who draws in viewers. If it's true, they're perilously close to stepping over the bounds of "documentarians." As creator Lauren Dolgen recently told Slate, "A key component is that it doesn't have our opinions in it; it's completely from the point of view of the girls who are going through it." If MTV chose/pays for Portwood's rehab, it seems like there's a clear opinion being put out there: that this is what they want/need her to do.

I'd like to think they'd pay because they don't want to see Portwood's spiral continue. Her suicide attempt was a horrible cry for help, and someone had to act. But if the cameras won't back off long enough to give her a chance at recovery, it seems like rehab is just a big, fat waste of her time.

Does MTV's presence in rehab kill Portwood's chances of learning anything from the experience?


Image via YouTube

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