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MTV President on Shain Gandee’s Death: ‘We Can’t Be All the Redemption’

It’s the very last answer given to Sharon Waxman by Van Toffler, president of the MTV Viacom Music and Logo Group, that provokes the most thought. Asked whether shows like Buckwild are guilty of exploiting young stars such as the late Shain Gandee for conglomerate ratings and profit, the executive suggests it’s not up to cable TV to be a full-time chaperone:

“We document and show all sides of what it’s like to be young. From True Life and Jenks, nurturing autistic kids and getting them to prom, to Jersey Shore – you can’t do one without the other.”

“You’re not going to gain their trust by saying “go out to vote” or “get tested for STDs” or “help your neighbor “or “fight for gun control” — or whatever the issue is, unless you’re honest with them. We wouldn’t be in business. We can’t be all the redemption. Life is about sin and redemption.”

Toffler knows whereof he speaks when it comes to MTV reality. He has been with the network since the very beginning, joining MTV Networks in 1987 and overseeing among many things the launch of MTV.com in 1995. Read the exclusive TheWrap Q&A here.

[Image courtesy Viacom]

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