Following the death of “Buckwild” star Shain Gandee, MTV has reportedly canceled the reality series – but the show’s producer vows to continue on with a movie.
The show’s producer J.P. Williams, who also manages eight of the show’s cast members, told The Hollywood Reporter that he was informed about the network shutting down the series on Tuesday – a decision he is livid about.
“This is the network that has shows about teen pregnancy. 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?” he told THR. “There’s something that smells of s*** here on every level.”
Gandee, 21, and two others were found dead on April 1 in the reality star’s truck, which was partially submerged in mud. It was later determined they all died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Williams told THR that he had completed four new episodes of “Buckwild” and was planning on shooting four more, along with a special devoted to Gandee that would start the show’s second season.
“Buckwild’s” future on MTV might be over, but Williams told THR that he vows to continue with the show, possibly producing a feature movie.
“My job is to protect these kids,” he told the mag, adding: “This will get ugly.”
On Wednesday, MTV released a statement.
“After careful consideration, MTV will not be moving forward with season two of ‘BUCKWILD’ in West Virginia. We love the cast and the show and this was not an easy decision, but given Shain’s tragic passing and essential presence on the show, we felt it was not appropriate to continue without him. Instead, we are working on a meaningful way to pay tribute to his memory on our air and privately,” the statement read. “On Sunday, we will be running a special ‘BUCKWILD: WV to the NYC,’ which was shot before production had begun on season two. With the support of his parents, Dale and Loretta Gandee, we will run the tribute following a day of programming dedicated to Shain in which we will air the entire first season of ‘BUCKWILD.’”
Gandee’s mother, Loretta Gandee, also spoke out.
“Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this incredibly difficult time for our family. We have truly felt all the love and know that Shain is resting peacefully. Shain was an incredible, outgoing, and positive person who was loved by whoever he met. We are honored that we were able to let the world see what a wonderful son we had. He was the best son anyone could ask for. As we look to honor him in our lives every day moving forward, we are happy to share some of his last moments doing what he loved best: having fun and making people laugh,” Loretta Gandee said in a statement.
-- Jesse Spero