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Laguna Beach Residents Slam MTV Show

By:
Dec 15, 2005 | 9:29am EST

Hit MTV reality show Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County has come under fire from local residents who have accused program makers of exploiting its teenage stars and ruining their seaside town.

The community in Laguna Beach is so incensed by the image they believe their California town now has, as a result of MTV, they are demanding the show be ditched immediately after the upcoming third series.

Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County follows the lives of a group of hedonistic and wealthy high school students.

Residents say an influx of families is now arriving in the town of 25,000 as a direct result of the show. Many are also threatening to boycott local businesses that cooperate with the MTV production.

Environmental consultant Derek Ortensen, 24, says, "MTV pitched it as a show that would be really positive for the youth. But it is exploitative, sensationalist and all about titillation.

"Laguna has historically stood for noble principles such as art, education, the environment and community togetherness.

"The only principle MTV stands for is exploiting youth for profit."

Local parent and lawyer Howard Hills, 53, says, "There is a groundswell of community opposition.

"Initially people were star struck—parents and kids. But now they are beginning to realize this is not what Laguna Beach is about.

"Our town and kids are better than that."

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, MTV producer Tony DiSanto recently said, "The people, the locations and the drama are all real.

"If they happen to be drinking or appear to be intoxicated, we try to edit around it, but we sometimes can't. High schoolers do what high schoolers do."

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