‘Teen Mom’ Births More Backlash, As Hometown Disowns Amber

by | October 19, 2010 at 11:15 AM | RealityTV, TV News

'Teen Mom's Amber (MTV)

'Teen Mom's Amber (MTV)

The Indiana hometown of an out-of-control MTV ‘Teen Mom’ wants her to clean up her act – or take a hike.

At least one local store in Anderson, Ind. (pop. 56,000) has banned film crews from the MTV docu-soap, while the local newspaper blasted the cable channel and cast member Amber Portwood (who’s no longer technically a teen at age 20).

The Herald Bulletin even urged its readers in a fiery editorial earlier to confront Amber when they see her to admonish her for her behavior, which the paper feels is damaging the reputation of Anderson.

“’Teen Mom’ is not the national image Anderson wants,” the newspaper thundered. “The next time you see our teen mom in the store, point out that she is hurting this city.” Alluding to some of Amber’s on-screen antics, the piece said, “We don’t push our loved ones down stairs. We don’t take pride that our teenage girls are 16 and pregnant. We don’t all drop out of high school.”

The violence described in the editorial refers to ‘Teen Mom’ episode in which Amber, who was first introduced to MTV audiences on ‘16 and Pregnant,’ appeared to have struck her baby daughter’s father, Gary Shirley, kicking him in the back as he fled down a flight of stairs. The Bulletin says that Anderson police are investigating the incident as an assault.

Meanwhile, the owner of an Anderson candy store that has hosted scenes for ‘Teen Mom’ is so disgusted with Amber and the show that he has banned her from his shop, says Life & Style Magazine. The glossy currently features Amber and baby Leah on its cover with the headline, “Out-of-Control Monster!”

“My stomach actually rolled while watching ‘Teen Mom,’” said the Anderson candy man, Randy Good. “Amber was filmed in the store, but now she’s gone – for good. I thought it was just awful. And because she’s local, it somehow made it worse.”

The Bulletin really let MTV have it too. “MTV’s line of defense in airing [the violent incident] is self-serving and disgusting,” wrote the newspaper’s editorialist, who then quoted a statement from an MTV spokeswoman: “Our role in ‘Teen Mom’ is to document how incredibly challenging and difficult being a teen parent is. In this particular instance, we monitored the situation to make sure no one was in imminent danger and that the child was not there.”

“We imagine ‘monitoring’ involved a camera crew smiling and rejoicing that they caught the fight on tape,” the indignant editorial sniped.

Suddenly, the teen moms of MTV are everywhere, including on the covers of celebrity weeklies. But should these teen moms really be celebrated in this way? Do the magazine covers and the show itself send the wrong message, that somehow it’s OK – even aspirational or rewarding – to become pregnant at such a young age? What do you think?