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An interview with the casting V.P. for MTV's 'True Life'

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There's been much discussion and speculation about a casting call for Furries to appear on MTV's reality show, True Life. The casting VP at the show's producer Asylum Entertainment was nice enough to give 30 minutes to answer questions about it.

The phone app I used didn't record (I blame an app update), so this is paraphrased from notes. I would say that the answers were very, very on-message. I did ask personal stuff to make it relatable - perhaps some responses would boil down to "just doing a job", or it might have caused shyness about getting personal. (Understandable, considering that the casting call has gotten hate mail.)

I aimed to ask tough questions, balancing sympathy towards the challenge of putting out professional media with being a Furry fan who's shamelessly obsessed with fursuiting.

Furlandia: Portland's first furry convention overshadowed by MTV controversy

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Furlandia splash, by Marco the CatA convention can be made or broken on one simple principle: communication. It can seem so simple to do, but when the number of people you’re trying to do it with goes up, it becomes a complex issue.

In the modern (mis)information era, public relations has changed from a hassle typically tossed to the side 'til bad news arises, to a demanding necessity where your job is to prevent strife before it occurs. Slacking can cause a brushfire that one has but a single extinguisher to put out.

Which brings us to an example of such unfortunate episodes: Furlandia, the third new furry convention to spawn in the past two months. This one was held in Portland, Oregon. 270 showed up and over $1,000 was donated to PAW Team, which provides veterinary care for the pets of impoverished locals. The donation comes with an asterisk, though, as it came from MTV; fans threw in $6. [Update: Comments suggest this only reflects Sunday's count.]

I was not at the convention; however, I know some who were, and I’ve looked into all sides with an open mind and am giving my best assessment. Most importantly: I’m evaluating why this incident blew up as it did, so that future convention leaders can avoid undue stress.

'True Life' still keen to film furs, but Brits want therians

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MTV's True LifeSince we last covered MTV's True Life, the show has taken footage of several furs, but is seeking more. From an email:

This is a docu-series to chronicle the real life of a Furry. We have no intention of showing Furries in a negative light but instead hope to dispel some of the media myths out there about them.

The renewed casting call was recieved with scepticism on the furrymedia LJ community.

Meanwhile, UK-based Zig Zag Productions (whose shows are often "factual entertainment") hopes to contact a more rarified group – therians and otherkin.

MTV's 'True Life' casting fans for furry episode

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MTV's True LifeMTV's True Life has issued a casting call for furries aged 16-25, and potential cast members are already posting about it. [tip: sohjin]

True Life is is billed as following "unique persons in their everyday situations, and [documenting] the problems and goals they face." Their most recent episodes were "I'm A Chubby Chaser", "I Can't Please My Parents", "I'm A Sex Offender" and "I Have Diabetes".

True Life previously covered the fandom in infamous "Sex2k" segment Plushies and Furries.

'Teen Wolf' reboot coming to MTV June 5

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TeenWolfLogo.jpgIn 1985, Michael J. Fox starred in Teen Wolf, playing a highschool student who found himself transforming into a werewolf due to hereditary lycanthropy. The movie spawned a TV cartoon series and a sequel (Teen Wolf Too).

Now Teen Wolf is being rebooted as a live-action series on MTV. The network has opted for an edgier feel than the original movie, hoping to attract fans of The Lost Boys and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

A three-minute trailer has been released; the series itself is to premier June 5, after the MTV Movie Awards.