16 and Pregnant was a revolutionary show for MTV back in 2009 that has led to multiple spin-off shows for the network. It was arguably the first American show to take an in-depth look at the struggles of becoming a mother at such a young age. Each season dedicated an hour to a different girl and gave them a chance to reflect on their struggle at the end of each episode.
But now, almost a decade later, MTV cameras are still flying out across the country to follow a handful of the girls and document their lives. The once newborn babies are now reaching their pre-teen years, but the interest hasn't died down. There are now women closer to 30 than 20 still starring on a show about teenage mothers. In the latest attempts to keep ratings up, the show has become less about motherhood and more about drama between the leading co-stars.
The season 8 finale of the show aired last night on Monday, August 7, and it was one of the new special episodes this season has been giving the audience. This one was called "Behind the Screams." This season we have been seeing the producers work with the cast openly on camera and have been privy to the drama happening between the Moms behind the scenes.
Some of the cast have since openly complained on their social media (see gallery below) that at reunion tapings, girls that fail to get along are being pushed together, and the arguments are being encouraged by producers for more content. The result of which this episode was newcomer Briana DeJesus storming onto the stage in front of a live audience ready to fight co-star Kail Lowry. Though security was quick to intervene, Dejesus proceeds to throw herself over furniture trying to fight Lowry as her sister, Brittany DeJesus, runs up behinds Lowry and pulls her hair.
Randy Houska, the father of co-star Chelsea DeBoer, has confirmed on his Twitter that children still attend the reunion and witness this behavior. It was also further confirmed that a worried DeBoer, who was over four months pregnant and on stage at the time the fight broke out, was reassured by producers physical fights would be prevented. She removed herself from the stage as soon as Dejesus entered the set screaming and swearing at Lowry.
The supporting cast are refusing to film.
Shortly after the reunion was filmed, Jo Rivera who shares a son, Isaac, with Lowry, announced that he would no longer be filming and subsequently pulled Isaac from the show also. He is the latest to join many other teen mom and dads that now appear infrequently, or not at all, due to outgrowing the show and wanting more privacy for their new families also. Adam Lind recently credited the show's network for his current lack of employment.
Jenelle Eason was absent.
After MTV fired David Eason for a homophobic Twitter rant, Jenelle Eason refused to attend the reunion taping as her husband would not have been allowed on set. Dr. Drew Pinksy has filmed a separate segment with Eason in her home to be aired next week.
What does this mean for next season?
Currently, four of the girls (DeBoer, DeJesus, Lowry, and Leah Messer) have signed on for the next season with filming already taking place. Eason is reportedly still negotiating the details of her contract that she claims she is "locked in." In the last episode, she further claimed that she was receiving offers to work with Netflix and Amazon amongst plenty of other opportunities that her current contract with MTV is keeping her from. MTV has also been filming with another 16 and Pregnant girl, Mackenzie Mckee, with her footage reportedly waiting in wings to replace Eason, should she refuse to film.