SISSONVILLE, W.Va. – The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department confirmed on Monday the death of Shain Gandee, star of the MTV reality show Buckwild.
In a released statement, an MTV spokesperson said, “We are shocked and saddened by the terrible news that Shain Gandee died without one of our camera crews present. We are waiting for more information, but at this time, our main concern is for the Gandee family and their friends and Buckwild audiences, who will undoubtedly be confused as to what happened to Shain. Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and we pray that an animated rendering of what happened on Monday will suffice.”
The statement concluded, “Shain had a magnetic personality, with a passion for life that touched everyone he met, and we will miss editing footage to make him look and sound however our producers wanted very dearly.”
It remains unclear if MTV will cancel Buckwild in the wake of the death of Gandee, whose demise has been blamed on carbon monoxide inhalation due his truck’s exhaust pipe getting stuck in mud. For the moment, MTV has only said they will suspend production of the show—news that has divided fans.
“Why continue [the show]?” tweeted one commenter. “Your one job is capturing the lives of [these people]. What about their deaths? Isn’t that part of life and ‘reality’ too? #FAIL”
On MTV’s Facebook page, another user wrote, “Buckwild is one of my favorite shows ever. I’m going to miss you, Shain, and I’m going to miss not getting to see what happened to you, too.”
From a business perspective, Hollywood talent agent Alec Shankman said that he anticipated MTV wouldn’t cancel production out of respect for the other cast members.
“The show documents kids doing what they would likely otherwise be doing, and kids ordinarily have a ‘monkey see, monkey also kills self’ attitude,” he said. “I don’t imagine MTV making the mistake again of not getting one of them dying on film. You want that kind of tragedy to be as unavoidable as possible.”