The star of MTV’s reality show “Buckwild,” described as a “redneck ‘Jersey Shore’,” was found dead last week. 21-year-old Shain Gandee had gone “mudding” with his uncle and a friend when their truck got stuck. All three died of carbon monoxide poisoning in the truck while waiting for help.
MTV confirms that, in the wake of the deaths, as well as the the drug possession arrest of cast member Salwa Amin and Michael Burford’s DUI arrest, they have canceled the series. They had filmed four episodes of Season 2 and a special. Though the Season 2 episodes will not air, MTV plans to run the special, “Buckwild: WV to the NYC,” this weekend. On Sunday, April 14, MTV will run a marathon of the entire first season of “Buckwild” in tribute to Gandee. His parents, Dale and Loretta Gandee, have approved this decision.
“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,” says MTV in a statement. “Instead, we are working on a meaningful way to pay tribute to his memory on our air and privately.”
“Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this incredibly difficult time for our family,” adds his mother, Loretta. “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.”
Unfortunately, the story took a surprising twist on Tuesday, when “Buckwild” producer J.P. Williams spoke to THR about MTV’s decision to cancel the show. Suffice to say, he’s furious with the network for axing the series — and he says he’s not mad about his own financial interests, but those of the surviving cast members.
“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 says. “There’s something that smells of s*** here on every
Williams adds that he will continue to shoot the series and a possible film without MTV’s cooperation. “My job is to protect these kids. This will get ugly.”