Reality shows create self-destructive idols instead of mentors

"Reality shows create self-destructive idols instead of mentors" says Dr. Wanis. Shain Gandee, cast member died from carbon monoxide poisoning

“Reality shows create self-destructive idols instead of mentors” says Dr. Wanis. Shain Gandee, cast member died from carbon monoxide poisoning

The MTV show “Buckwild” was plagued with drug busts, and there was a prominent outpouring of upset over the show even before it hit the air. However, the show ended with one cast member arrested on drug charges, and another, Shain Gandee, dead of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Gandee, 21, was found dead April 1 in his vehicle with his uncle and a friend. The three men died of carbon monoxide poisoning after their vehicle became stuck during an off-roading “mudding” excursion in West Virginia.

“The greater impact of Buckwild and these types of reality shows for impressionable teens is the constant encouragement and glorification of dangerous, self-destructive behavior” says Human Behavior Expert, Patrick Wanis PhD.

“Reality shows are designed to create drama & conflict, and highlight dysfunction while being extreme and controversial” says Wanis. “To compete with other TV shows, producers are constantly seeking ways to shock audiences by exposing dysfunctional and severe personalities without regard for, or understanding that encouraging and glamorizing reckless, dangerous and self-destructive behavior will ultimately result in injury or death.”

“It is also highly likely that many of the TV producers and networks are failing to conduct proper psychological testing of reality show participants while at the same time promoting and glorifying the very negative behavior that they should be discouraging or at least avoiding.

Wanis concludes “MTV should cancel this show because it creates false and self-destructive idols for highly impressionable children and teens who actually need idols, mentors and role models who can influence them for success and not for death-wishes or self-injurious behavior.”

Update: April 09, 2013, MTV announced it was cancelling “Buckwild.”

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