The season 6 finale of Teen Mom OG had viewers really upset on Monday night. Not because of the show's typical drama of custody battles, breakups, and hookups, but because of a scene in which Ryan Edwards drove himself and his fiancee Mackenzie Standifer to their quickie wedding while apparently high as a kite.
On MTV.com, the scene in question airs after a warning message flashes on the screen, reading, "Please be advised: The following scenes may be disturbing to watch."
Standifer gets in the car with Edwards and urges him to hurry, because they are already 10 minutes late for their 6 p.m. wedding. But once they are on the road, she looks rather worried about him.
"Why are you swerving?" she asks.
"My eyes — in the sunlight, I can't keep them open," he answers. He removes his sunglasses and you can see his eyes are barely open. Standifer repeatedly nudges him, and he makes a few odd attempts at conversation. Then she switches off the dashboard cameras.
"Did you take Xanax again?" she asks.
"I don't... I don't have any," he says.
"I put that on my kid's life," Edwards replies. Then the scene ends, and another message from MTV flashes before the break: "Driving under the influence is dangerous and can have lifelong consequences. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, head to halfofus.com for ways to get help."
When the episode first aired, several viewers took to social media to express their concern:
"Ryan driving to his shotgun wedding while high as hell is legit one of the most disturbing things MTV has aired," Marisa Blair Gendal tweeted.
"I've never felt genuine fear when watching something on TV like I did watching Ryan drive just now," wrote Amber.
By Wednesday, MTV issued a statement, obtained by People, that said, “MTV does not condone driving under the influence. Ryan's erratic behavior was due to actions that he took without anyone;s prior knowledge."
That doesn't exactly explain why the crew filming Edwards at his house didn't step in to stop him from driving, but that may be easier for us to judge from home than it was in the moment.
Luckily, the couple made it to their wedding safely. Even better, Edwards eventually checked himself into rehab in May, E! News reported. He has since returned home and said in a statement that he is doing well.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, please call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information.
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