Note: this article contains coarse language that may offend some readers.
The popular MTV series ‘Teen Mom” is no stranger to controversy.
It’s been home to multiple sex-tape scandals, parenting-style outrage, and explosive family brawls. But none of that compares to the hot water MTV just landed in after a recent episode of “Teen Mom OG.”
During Monday’s episode, Ryan Edwards, who shares an 8-year-old son with Maci Bookout, was driving to his elopement ceremony with then-fiancée Mackenzie Standifer.
But what should have been a happy, sweet episode quickly turned into one of the most “disturbing” moments in the show’s history when Edwards was shown behind the wheel.
Edwards was in no condition to drive. His mouth hung open, and he was unable to keep his noticeably dazed eyes open.Screenshot/Twitter
Standifer was clearly aware of Edwards’s state — her expression reflected extreme concern with furrowed brows and a tense jaw. She continuously looked over at him, tapped him multiple times to keep his attention on driving, and was even forced to grab the steering wheel to correct the car.
According to People, Standifer then turned toward the cameras placed inside their vehicle and turned them off. However, their mics were left on. She was heard asking Edwards:
“Did you take Xanax again?”
To which he almost inaudibly responded:
“Um, I don’t … I don’t have any.”
She didn’t believe him, insisting:
Edwards then swore on his family’s life:
“I put that on my kid’s life.”
The scene made some viewers “sick to their stomach,” and it wasn’t long before people slammed MTV for not only airing the clip but, more importantly, for not intervening:
— SamZee (@SamZComedy) June 27, 2017
Some fans said their hearts were pounding out of fear:
ok I love watching teen mom but I was so uncomfortable watching Ryan drive under the influence, my heart was racing ??
— tiffany mae (@tiffanymaexoxo) June 27, 2017
While others dubbed it simply “disturbing”:
— Lauren (@_lobro_) June 27, 2017
People were entirely outraged by the network’s lack of response to the dangerous car ride:
WHEN RYAN EDWARDS FROM TEEN MOM KILLS A FAMILY WHILE MTV KNOWINGLY LETS HIM DRIVE INTOXICATED ON DRUGS WHILE THEY FILM IT, THEY WONT CARE
— Foo Foo (@Foopooh12345) June 27, 2017
The scene even left viewers in tears:
Fans couldn’t believe MTV hadn’t stepped in:
— Jenna (@jennnna311) June 27, 2017
And some were saying that MTV’s inaction made them sick:
— Alex…..?? (@Acjohns1) June 27, 2017
And some couldn’t even find the words:
Wow is right @MTV letting Ryan drive while that high…holy fuck
— REALI-ET (@IamET666) June 27, 2017
Two days later, on Wednesday, MTV finally issued a statement about the incident to People, saying:
“MTV does not condone driving under the influence. Ryan’s erratic behavior was due to actions that he took without anyone’s prior knowledge.”
After the episode aired, Edwards announced that he checked himself into rehab:
“A little over 30 days ago, I made the decision to check myself into a rehabilitation facility. I am back home now doing well, and life could not be better. Without the support of my wife and parents I would not have been able to do this. Thank you all for your well wishes.”
MTV has landed in hot water in the past for not intervening when it came to physical violence on shows like “The Real World.” Additionally, A&E’s documentary series “Intervention” garnered national outcry for allowing intoxicated people to drive after actually seeing them drink beforehand.
However, the New York Times reported:
Legally, producers are treated like witnesses: they bear no responsibility to intervene.
David Sternbach, counsel for litigation and intellectual property matters for A&E Television Networks, told the New York Times:
“The law in the United States doesn’t require you to step in and save people. And it doesn’t require you to stop a crime that’s in the works.”
Although MTV stated it was unaware that Edwards had ingested any substance that would impair his ability to drive, it’s clear fans expect more — especially when so many innocent lives are at stake.