More legal troubles and location battles for the cast and producers of CMT’s new reality show Party Down South. The latest fugitive from the show is 24-year-old Mattie Breaux of Louisiana, who is wanted by police for a bench warrant after she failed to appear in court as part of a pretrial hearing in March. The hearing was for a previous arrest for driving while intoxicated in September. Breaux was taping Season 2 of the reality show at the time of the hearing.
On Party Down South, Breaux is known to have a turbulent, and at times violent alter ego named “Martha” that comes out when she drinks too much. “Martha” was a focus of one of the show’s episodes in Season 1.
Mattie Breaux is the second Party Down South cast member of the eight to find herself on the wrong side of the law. In late February, fellow Louisiana native Lyle Boudreaux was arrested in Maurice, LA for burglary of a vehicle. According to police, while at a Mardi Gras parade, Boudreaux found an unlocked car, rifled through a purse, and stole a credit card to fund the night’s drinking. When he went to the 2nd bar on the night and tried to start an open tab, bartenders noticed the name on the card and alerted police. The 28-year-old Party Down South star was arrested, and eventually released on $10,000 bond.
And these are not the only problems for the troubled show. In March, the show got kicked out of Pensacola, FL where the taping for Season 2 was originally supposed to transpire. A backlash from Pensacola residents incensed by the portrayal of Southerners in Party Down South resulted in the cancellation of food and lodging contracts for the show’s support staff, including a $1 million hotel deal, and a $160,000 catering contract.
“It was really an image thing,” Hotel spokesman Julian MacQueen told USA Today. “We spent millions and millions of dollars investing in an image for Pensacola Beach that gets away from the whole Redneck Riviera crap. I hate that image. That’s not who we are. All you have to do is watch a trailer of the reality show and realize it will undo everything we’ve been trying to put together. It sure puts a stereotype out there, and it’s the lowest form of entertainment. Yes, it’s painful, but it was the thing to do. You never make up that business. What you can do to make yourself feel better is look at the business it possibly could have displaced.”
In lieu of Pensacola, Party Down South moved to Athens, GA, where they haven’t been very well-received either, or very well-behaved.
Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson said in April that she felt that the South was always portrayed unfairly in the media, and that the mayor’s office did not condone the show. “I’m terribly disappointed that this is being filmed in our community. There’s so much promise in that (TV) technology … (but) we’ve sunk to the lowest level. It makes me worry about our society.”
According to numerous accounts, bodyguards/babysitters watched the cast whenever they would leave their house for Athens proper, though one of the cast members still ended up in the ER twice for alcohol issues. The presence of Party Down South has also stimulated talk of creating tighter controls on TV and movie production in the area for the future.