CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A collection of social media reactions to MTV's premiere of the controversial "Buckwild" television show Thursday night were mostly negative, with many sounding off about the unfavorable image of West Virginia portrayed through the show's country shenanigans. Ric Cavender, executive director of East End Main Street in Charleston, posted on Twitter after the show aired, "So they mud, live in someone else's house, and speak with an accent. Compelling story."John Kerkhoff wrote on Twitter, "I think Congress is more representative of the country's population than Buckwild is of W.Va." Politicians and tourism officials have expressed worry recently that the show will feature negative portrayals and stereotypes of West Virginians.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D.W.Va., sent a letter to the president of MTV last month, asking that the show be cancelled. When the trailer was released in November, Charleston Convention and Visitor's Bureau President and CEO Alisa Bailey told the Gazette it was "just most unfortunate."And Melissa Whitman, a South Charleston resident, had told the Gazette that scenes for "Buckwild" were shot last spring in and around a yellow house just across Beechwood Drive from her home. A lot of the filming looked faked, she said, adding thatshe watched the cast and crew reshoot and tweak scenes.Dave Emke wrote on Twitter, "Seems most of the WV contingent in my [Twitter] feed has bailed on #Buckwild halfway through the first episode. I commend them for making the effort." The social media posts, however, didn't wait to start when the show premiered at 10 p.m. At about 8 p.m., @MTV_BUCKWILD posted on Twitter: "Less than 1 hours till #BUCKWILD WHOS READY [Re-tweet] THIS ... !!!"Earlier Thursday night, former West Virginia University football punter and kicker Pat McAfee, currently a punter for the Indianapolis Colts, tweeted, "The amount of WV tweets I'm gonna get tonight when 'Buckwild' premieres is gonna be ridiculous ... The show looks amazing though." Courtney Grimmett promised that "West Virginia isn't full of a bunch of uneducated and illiterate hill jacks." Courtney Antigo said she wished "they would cut the northern panhandle off of WV and call us PA or OH because these [expletive] are giving us a horrible name."But not all the reactions were negative. Twitter showed signs that more than a few young viewers appreciated the country antics."I don't even care what y'all say, buck wild is crackin me up," Allie Cardwell said.
Just before the show aired, Haley Rakes said she was "honestly pretty happy about being from WV and #Buckwild being on MTV."Morgan Bowles said "at the end of the day, I'm proud where I came from. It's just a show ... stop worrying about our reputation." Reach Zac Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5189.