Reality show casting call raises eyebrows

  • By David Bauder Associated Press
  • Monday, June 2, 2014 11:48am
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Producers seeking teenagers who “party like a rock star” for a reality show about their lives say they were actually casting for the upcoming CMT intervention series, “My Dysfunctional Family,” not a show that glorifies teen rebellion.

But the producers and CMT, which is premiering the series on July 5, are distancing themselves from how participants were wrangled for the show.

Through a casting service, the show’s production company had said it was seeking people as young as 13 who described themselves as “a modern-day teenage rebel with a hardcore lifestyle.”

A casting flyer was distributed with the message: “(expletive) parents. They’re old and they don’t know (expletive). It’s 4:20 and time for you and your friend Molly to tell your story.” Molly is the street name for a synthetic drug.

The notice, which appeared in the entertainment industry publication Backstage, advertised a show called “My Teen Life,” which doesn’t exist. Instead, producers now say the casting was for “My Dysfunctional Family,” which features “a self-styled commando family fixer” who helps troubled teens and their families deal with addiction and other issues.

Yet both CMT and the show’s production company, Shed Media US, say they did not see or approve the language in the Backstage notice and flyer for their show. And the casting company, Metal Flowers Media, says it circulated only approved materials, but wouldn’t say who approved them.

The casting language is not in the spirit of the show, CMT said in a statement on Thursday.

“‘My Dysfunctional Family’ is a positive show about bringing families together,” CMT said. “In no way does this show glamorize or even condone bad behavior from teenagers. We hope this show will serve as a conversation starter for families, with common sense advice every family can relate to.”

One casting call that CMT says it did approve is directed to parents of out-of-control teenagers. That notice said producers are looking for parents who are at their wit’s end with families that are falling apart. It directed responses to an email account at Shed.

Kristi Russell, president of Metal Flowers Media, said that while the show doesn’t encourage or accept bad behavior, troubled teens must be found before they can be helped.

“How do you find a troubled teen?” Russell asked. “You outreach to crisis centers, churches, exasperated parents, scared siblings and, most importantly, directly to the teens themselves in a language they relate and respond to.”

“My Dysfunctional Family” stars Dave Vitalli, who has appeared on the syndicated show “Maury” dealing with troubled families. It seems modeled in part after A&E’s popular series “Intervention,” where friends and family members of people with substance abuse problems demand that the person seek help.

More in Life

Lots to see in Upper Skagit, even if the eagles are elusive

A guided hike through a mossy old-growth forest more than makes up for a lack of raptor sightings.

Shopping cart showdown: Which stores have best food prices?

Jennifer Bardsley compares Fred Meyer, PCC, QFC, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, WinCo and Whole Foods offers.

Take a closer look: Winter gardens share gifts in subtle way

Go on a neighborhood walk this month to enjoy the seasonal beauty offered by a variety of gardens.

Samish Flats in Skagit County prime turf for winter birders

This spot is great for birdwatching because of the mostly flat land, marshy areas and open water.

Outdoor classes and activities in and around Snohomish County

GET OUT Christmas bird count: Volunteers are needed for the Everett-Marysville Christmas… Continue reading

Relationship do’s and don’ts: Lessons from 40 years of marriage

Paul Schoenfeld reflects on what he’s learned about relationships after four decades with his wife.

Making it through the holidays on 4 legs and 4 wheels

1. Driving safety Here are some travel tips from the Red Cross… Continue reading

The top 10 albums of 2017: From Jay-Z to St. Vincent

This year saw an upward trend in music industry revenue due to the popularity of streaming services.

Snohomish County book calendar

Jennifer Wilhoit Noon to 1 p.m., Jan. 13, Edmonds Bookshop Wilhoit will… Continue reading

Most Read