LOS ANGELES – College students and others are talking about their morning after sex exploits on the controversial new VH1 reality TV show “Walk of Shame Shuttle.”
But is it an entertaining look at hookup culture—or harmful for young people to watch?
On the show, premiering March 18, shuttle drivers pick up young people (both women and men) in the morning so they won’t have to do the infamous “walk of shame” after a night of sex.
Those getting the rides home then confess their steamy adventures from the night before to their shuttle drivers—and VH1 viewers.
The show is the brainchild of University of Michigan graduate Kellyann Wargo, who is a producer and one of the on-camera shuttle drivers.
When Wargo was in college, friends kept calling her for rides after their sex hookups. Eventually, she decided to make the shuttle a business and charge $5 a ride. After Wargo’s video about it went viral, Hollywood came calling, resulting in the new VH1 show.
Wargo told FOX411, “My job as the driver is to cheer them up and say, ‘Hey, everyone does crazy stuff, we’ve all been there. You’re not alone in this experience. Let’s swap stories.’”
The college grad turned entrepreneur said she even gives her riders high fives to let them know, “You made it though the night, you’re on your way home. Congrats you got laid. Anything to cheer them up.”
Wargo said, “They’re hung over, tired, and maybe a little regretful,” and insisted, “We’re not trying to embarrass or make fun of anyone.
“People sleep with each other. It happens.”
She said all ages will enjoy the “funny, lighthearted” show and learn how to do new things, such as “how to take a butt selfie.”
However, those ideas horrify Melissa Henson, Grassroots Director of the Parents’ Television Council (PTC), who hasn’t yet seen the show but deplores the concept.
Henson told FOX411, “It’s very degrading and debasing. It’s shameful.”
Henson, whose group weighs in on whether television programs are beneficial or harmful to the development of children, thinks “Walk of Shame Shuttle” wrongly “is trying to put a positive spin on behavior that’s not healthy or helpful.
“Unfortunately, the show producers are choosing to record people talking about behavior they’re not proud of… celebrating hookup culture. It strikes me as bizarre.”
Henson added that it might make young viewers feel bad about themselves: “What we know from existing studies and surveys that have been done is that kids who see a lot of TV shows are likely to expect a higher level of sexual activity among their peers than actually exists.
“Not to deny reality—we know it’s out there. But it’s communicating to kids that might not otherwise engage in casual sexual encounters like that to think there’s something wrong with them if they’re not part of that culture.”
But Wargo believes the walk of shame is a common part of the college experience and should be explored on TV.
Wargo admitted to FOX411 that she has been there: “Of course I have. It sucks having to wear high heels home at 7 a.m. or not knowing where you woke up.”
PTC’s Henson sighed, “It’s not true that everybody does it! And even if you accept that premise, that doesn’t make it okay to exploit people and use them for entertainment purposes.”
Meanwhile, VH1 is promoting the show from March 12-17 in Panama City, Florida near the Spinnaker Beach Club. Students and vacationers can enjoy various games and challenges—and receive a “Walk of Shame Shuttle” survival kit, including such items as a toothbrush and sunglasses.