I haven't seen MTV's new reality series Buckwild, but I remember the free publicity controversy that erupted over it when West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin wrote MTV to demand that the network cancel the show to avoid "ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia." Well, I couldn't say for sure if that's in fact what the show is doing, but it definitely doesn't seem to be a good sign that a cast member has already been arrested for dealing heroin and oxycodone.
Twenty-four-year-old Salwa Amin is currently facing felony charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, thanks to a dramatic bust that went down late Sunday. Senator Manchin must be freaking OUT, and MTV must be thrilled. After all, cast members in hot water pull in more viewers -- and it was just last week that the network announced it was going forward with a second season of the show.
TMZ reports that officers arrested Salwa Amin and two other men after a multi-agency task force received a tip from an informant that a "shipment" would be delivered to the home in Nicholas County sometime on Sunday. Amin and her buddies were reportedly found hiding in a shed in the backyard, where police say they found three separate packages of heroin. Additionally, Amin had Oxycodone in her purse, and one of the men had "a large amount of money" on him.
Here's how Awin is described on MTV's show website:
A recent college graduate, Salwa lives at home with her strict parents. Whenever she's able to slip away, she's the first one at the party. The oldest of the group, Salwa is always down for a good time and everyone loves her "tell it like it is" attitude.
Oh dear, this sounds a bit awkward now. Did they mean "sell it like it is," maybe?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, MTV spokeswoman Candice Ashton says the network doesn't have any comment on Awin's arrest. I'm dying to hear what Senator Manchin might have to say about the show now, since he certainly didn't mince words when it was first announced:
As a proud West Virginian, I am writing to formally request that you put a stop the travesty called 'Buckwild'. Instead of showcasing the beauty of our state, you preyed on young people, coaxed them into shameful behavior -- and now you are profiting from it. That is just wrong ... This show plays to ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia.
Well, I don't think we can blame MTV for Salwa Amin's life choices, but the truth is the network WILL profit from it. When trainwrecky shows like Teen Mom or Jersey Shore are considered reality entertainment gold, you can bet MTV is looking for more of the same questionable, headline-making behavior from its stars.
Are you surprised to hear a Buckwild cast member has been arrested? Have you seen the show?
Image via West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority