MTV say The Valleys is 'absolutely not about stereotyping'
THE makers of a new reality show based on life in South Wales have defended its portrayal of the area.
MTV’s The Valleys follows nine young people as they move in together in Cardiff — and has been described as Wales’s answer to The Only Way Is Essex (Towie).
The first edition of the new show, which includes two local wannabe celebrities in Swansea hairdresser Nicole Morris, who admits she “would love to be famous”, and Port Talbot’s Lateysha Grace, a 19-year-old accounts administrator, launches tonight.
Online trailers for the show that airs firmly after the watershed at 10pm had featured sheep in the title while its cast members promoted the show by talking about their sex, drinking and partying lifestyles.
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The show has prompted criticism from people in the South Wales valleys, fearing it will portray Welsh people as unintelligent and obsessed with going out and getting drunk or having sex.
Programme bosses have insisted the show is “absolutely not about stereotyping”, but community leaders have claimed the show paints a negative picture of people in South Wales, with singer Charlotte Church calling the series “horrific”.
The Cardiff-born star and TV presenter said: “I think it will be exploitative and a horrific representation of the country that I love.”
Also expressing her concern was Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, who was born and raised in the valleys.
She said: “It looks to me as if it’s going to be a cheap, tacky and over-promoted television programme that is going to fit to the usual stereotypes.
“The valleys have got so much more to offer than what is going to be presented. I have no intention of watching it.”
Meanwhile, Rhondda MP Chris Bryant described the show as “hideously patronising”.