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But scapegoating Mackenzie ignores Ryan's much greater culpability—not to mention the criticism that producers failed to intervene.
Again, though, the fact that Matt is a grifter is not news to fans of the show, who were suspicious of him ever since he showed up in Amber’s life three years ago—over 20 years her senior with no job and a host of court cases for unpaid child support—and surprised her by moving into her home just weeks after they started dating.Maybe it’s because started out aimed squarely at the high school demographic and still airs on a network whose primary audience is 12 to 34 years old, making the pressure to keep things PG-13 very real.The show is also under pressure to keep its cast happy.This season on the show (and prior to the impaired-driving incident in the finale), Ryan's family explained his behavior by saying, “Ryan’s like an old man, he disappears to the bank every morning for three hours, then comes home and naps all afternoon.” Yeah, sure. Explanations like that were indicative of how has previously handled cast member's issues—Ryan got the “good guy” edit, and his drug problems were either not shown, not mentioned, or explained away in ways that increasingly insulted the intelligence of any viewer not watching blindfolded.
The show only gave Ryan the “honest edit” when speculation by fans and tabloids had reached a fever pitch and Maci Bookout finally started speaking about his drug problem on camera.
The argument goes that the show helps its audience of young women. If an expert talked about the signs a loved one has an addiction after Ryan was seen driving under the influence.