Credit: © MTV Networks

Not long ago, the cast of Jersey Shore were receiving their share of criticism for being poor representatives of the Italian-American community, and now their Southern brothers are dealing with similar backlash. CMT’s new South Carolina-based reality show Party Down South — brought to you by the same producers as the 2009 breakout MTV hit — features eight hard-partying 20-somethings living and working together, and one beloved TV actor is now speaking out against the program.

The Dukes of Hazzard star Ben Jones — who appeared as mechanic “Cooter” on the long-running show — has penned an open letter denouncing the program to CMT (which also airs reruns of Dukes). According to Ben, the series’s focus on heavy drinking and hooking up is “cultural pornography” and he considers it to be “without a doubt the most offensive and sleaziest thing ever to make it to a national audience already neck-deep in offensive sleaze.” Couldn’t that technically be argued about every reality show on TV? But do go on…

The television alum also says that Country Music Television is giving Southerners (and the network) a bad name with Party Down South. “You are insulting the South without a clue of the richness and diversity of our many Southern cultures,” Ben says, noting that he fears the dumbed-down, sexualized nature of the South will be an “accepted truth” following the show’s airing.

But Ben might be overestimating the show’s reach, as it’s still not bringing in huge ratings. In fact, last week’s episode had an audience of only 627,000.

CMT and it’s parent network Viacom have yet to issue a response to the letter.

Read the entire open letter here.

Have you caught Party Down South yet this season? Do you agree with the letter’s sentiments? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Samantha Lear is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!