How much of it is real?
Any filmmaker will tell you that the art of film is essentially the art of manipulation. Even the most realistic feeling movies and TV shows are, at their core, products of emotional cajoling through various techniques and that is all the more true when it comes to reality TV. Sure, it’s supposed to be… well, real, but the truth is that often times “reality shows” present a heavily altered version of the real events they depict. What actually makes it to screens can be easily manipulated through editing, music choices, and even things as simple as what the producers and editors choose to include and what they leave out. These techniques, which are used liberally in reality TV, can effortlessly put a different spin on the “real” events depicted on the show.
Unfortunately, this applies to Teen Mom as much as it does to any other reality show. In fact, there have been numerous times in the past that the cast members have spoken out about their discontent with the way they have been portrayed in the show, claiming that editing and manipulation has made the events look different from how they really happened. Now, the accusations are heating up, which has fans concerned about whether what they see is an accurate representation of their favorite stars’ lives.
For those suspecting that these rumors are overblown, it’s important to know that cast members like Kailyn and Chelsea have been pointing these editing changes out for a while now. About a month ago, these two took to Twitter to air their grievances.
Chelsea noticed something was off about a recent episode, and wrote, “Just a little something that irked me about the show tonight. Theres a part where I say ‘I feel like it’s taking away from Cole’s experience’… And that was taken out of context from a different convo and added in that scene for some reason #RealityTVprobs.”
Kailyn chimed in to let Chelsea know that she wasn’t alone. She wrote, “They did they several times on tonight’s episodes. And provoked the scene with Isaac crying at dinner!!! And I lost my mind!!!”
At another point, it was so obvious that some manipulation was happening that even a fan noticed. They pointed out that it seemed Isaac was “coached” during a scene in a recent episode and Kailyn confirmed it. “Yep!” the star said in response to the fan, “Let’s talk about how bad the timeline is off tonight. The wall paint and how it flips from mint to yellow back to mint.” Later, she tweeted, “Sometimes ya gotta just keep your mouth shut and keep it movin. Let people think they know.”
As for more examples, an episode aired in which Chelsea was asked whether Aubree was excited to have Cole DeBoer as her stepdad and got into a fight with her mother about it. Chelsea later tweeted, “Obviously crabby in the scene with my mom BUT they left out the convo before this where she kept talking about Aubs’ dad in front of her. Then I just felt like she was pushing the ‘new dad’ stuff and Aubs was uncomfortable.”
During the same episode, Kailyn also pointed out something missing from the show. Isaac was upset that Lincoln was leaving to stay with his father, and Kailyn pointed out, “They left out the fact that Linc was going to another country too.”
For those who are shocked about these changes, there’s more where that came from. When an episode aired wherein Leah and Jeremy were discussing their marriage, Leah spoke out about more manipulation. In the scene, Leah cries and tells Jeremy, “So we shouldn’t have just gave up.” In the next clip, it looks like Jeremy is ignoring Leah’s pain. When the episode aired, Leah tweeted, “I’m 99.9% sure those feelings were mutual. I could go into detail, but wont. Oh, how I love this fake a#% TV show #SoOverIt.”
Leah also claimed that MTV was purposefully editing some of their stories to make the show more interesting for viewers. She tweeted, It’s so sad how the person behind the editing can even live a happy life by editing to manipulate the audience watching. It makes me feel like my life story isn’t enough.”
Kailyn was also frustrated about what MTV was focusing on, expressing her frustration that they seemed more interested in her relationships than her accomplishments. “Yet another episode where none of my accomplishments are shown. Hard work in school, deans list, etc,” she tweeted. “I want to motivate other young moms to stay in or finish school. Not be asked to talk about Jo drama.”
However, not all of the stars agree that the show is outright manipulative. When Javi Marroquin did an interview with In Touch, he seemed to see some positives. He said, “This is our story. I don’t know how editing is so bad when no one is forcing us to say the things we do. We control our story, so I never understand that. Yes, they may cut some things out, but we should be cognizant about what we say knowing they may cut some things out.”
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