Tinley Park mayor says MTV’s 16 and Pregnant film crew not welcome on city property
          

16 and Pregnant Season 5 Maddy Godsey with daughter Aubrey photos

As we reported back in October, MTV plans to include teen mom Maddy Godsey (seen above with daughter Aubrey, born in October) from Tinley Park, Illinois in 16 and Pregnant Season 5, and it appears there is at least one person none too thrilled about the news: Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki! When Zabrocki found out the network wished to film at a local restaurant located in a train station owned by the village he contacted the owner and informed him that MTV cameras would not be welcomed on village property.

Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki denies MTV filming 16 and Pregnant Season 5 episode

Mayor Zabrocki, seen in the photo above, recently did a phone-in interview with WGN (full video below) to answer questions about turning away MTV. Zabrocki reveals that he has only seen one episode of 16 and Pregnant, but he feels confident in his belief that the show “glamorizes unwed mothers.”

Zabrocki later points out that he is familiar with the problems addressed on the show. “I was a high school guidance counselor for 42 years and have dealt with both unwed fathers and unwed mothers,” he says, “so it’s not anything that is new to me.” He then adds, “in my own family I have four adopted children from unwed mothers and from foreign adoption, so I’m familiar with the kind of things that are involved with this.”

Michael Papandrea, the owner of the restaurant in question, initially had the same opinion as Mayor Zabrocki when he was approached by MTV, but he later had a change of heart “after giving the matter further consideration, reasoning that the show has a positive effect on teenage pregnancies,” according to The Chicago Tribune. He would eventually allow MTV to film a scene at another of his Parmesan restaurant locations in Frankfort, Illinois.

In addition to the Mayor’s snub, local Andrew High School also turned down MTV’s request to film on their campus. “There was a request made in August for (Andrew) to allow them to shoot on campus regarding a young lady they may be featuring in their show,” Andrew High School principal Bob Nolting told The Chicago Tribune. “We denied that request and have not worked with them or the family any further.”

16 & Pregnant Season 5 Maddy Godsey with baby daddy Cody

Maddy, seen above with her baby’s father Cody early on in her pregnancy, reportedly left her regular high school to attend an alternative high school after she found out she was pregnant. Perhaps that was due in part to Andrew High School’s refusal to allow filming? (That is purely speculation on my part.)

Here is the full phone-in interview with Mayor Zabrocki from WGN followed by a transcript:

WGN: Is your opposition based on just that you don’t like the content of the show and the message it’s sending?

Zabrocki: I think you’re exactly right. I think the initial concept of the show probably made some sense, but over the years with reality TV, etcetera, that kind of thing, I think it glamorizes unwed mothers, and this is a quick and easy way for some young ladies — 14, 15, 16 years old — to have it in their mind, “Hey, this is how I can get on TV and get my 10 minutes of fame.” And I think that sends the wrong message. And I feel very strongly about it.

WGN: Does your town or your schools offer services to women who are teen… are pregnant who are teenagers?

Zabrocki: Those kind of services are available through the schools, through the churches, etcetera — that kind of thing — through different social organizations. Just by way of background, I was a high school guidance counselor for 42 years and have dealt with both unwed fathers and unwed mothers, so it’s not anything that is new to me, that kind of concept. And in my own family I have four adopted children from unwed mothers and from foreign adoption, so I’m familiar with the kind of things that are involved with this.

WGN: Can I ask what kind of authority do you have as the mayor to say to, I think it’s this restaurant that’s inside the train station at 80th Avenue there, do you have authority to tell them that “You are not allowed to film?” I mean, can’t the restaurant owner say they can come in if they want?

Zabrocki: Well here’s the situation: the restaurant is a tenant — a leasee so to speak — in our railroad station on 80th Avenue, and I basically went in and talked to the manager but said I didn’t think it would be a good idea for them to film within the station. Now, in the same breath, I’m not going to get the village of Tinley Park and residents of this community into any kind of frivolous lawsuit over something like this. Uh, my authority — that could be questionable. There’s no question about that, but I felt I had to take a pretty strong stand on not glorifying that kind of thing.

Mayor advises Tinley Park restaurant Parmesans to not allow MTV to film 16 and Pregnant episode there

^ Photo of the restaurant being referenced in the interview, Parmesans Station

WGN: So what does the owner say? Is he going to allow it?

Zabrocki: Oh, he complied with it. He has indicated that he had some questions about it himself at the train station, but interestingly enough, he allowed the filming to take place at his restaurant in Frankfort, Illinois.

WGN: So, for you, this isn’t about a perceived negative image of Tinley Park, it’s more of the message from the show itself?

Zabrocki: Absolutely. I think it tends to glorify that kind of thing. I mean, as I said earlier, the show started out, probably, in a very positive way: “We want to show the difficulties of teen pregnancy, etcetera,” that kind of thing. But again, given our society, given our reality shows, all those kinds of things, I think it has just degenerated. Now I’ve seen the program probably, I’ve seen only one episode probably six, seven months ago.

WGN: So when you talked to MTV about your concerns, what did they have to say?

Zabrocki: I have had no contact with MTV. They have not contacted me and I have not contacted them.

WGN: What about the family? Have you been in contact with the family?

Zabrocki: I have no idea who the family is.

WGN: Wow. Alright, well Edward Zabrocki, thank you for joining us to talk about this this morning. We appreciate it.

Zabrocki: My pleasure. Take care guys.




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    • neacy

      Way to go! That’s what is needed, more people in charge with integrity and who is doing something to put a stop to this ridiculousness.

    • hi

      I feel like that’s really over the top to refuse MTV to film on city property. Shouldn’t he have better things to be dealing with? In my opinion, a mayor shouldn’t have that much authority or power.

    • Stop

      Good job Mayor! Enough is enough!!!

    • Brittany

      He keeps saying “unwed” mothers and fathers instead of teenage mothers and fathers. People can be unmarried and have a child in their adult years and be perfectly fine mothers and fathers. You don’t have to be married. That makes him sound extremely old-fashioned and judgemental.

      • who knows

        I know right? He makes it sounds like if they were married teenage mothers it would be perfectly fine. He’s an idiot. Besides 16 & pregnant isn’t the one that “glamorizes unwed pregnancies” it’s Teen Mom because they get paid more obviously. You can tell he has never watched the show & just going off from what he has heard. That’s why the restaurant owner changed his mind after doing a little more research..

        Oh & btw I stopped watching 16 & pregnant after like the second season.. buttt if this is gonna stop another naive teenage girl from getting pregnant then gi’m all for it!

      • ITA

        Exactly! As if a marriage license will make two 16 year old’s who aren’t financially or emotionally ready to be a parents suddenly totally prepared! Or anyone at any age for that matter! I could go to Vegas and marry a perfect a stranger tonight and then have a kid by him, would that make me a better mother than someone who is in a stable relationship with their child’s father but not married to him? Not to mention that we also have something called divorce. It’s ridiculous. I mean even Jenelle and Courtland got married, did that make them automatically more capable of being stable parents than an unmarried couple? It’s such backwards thinking.

        And if he had said he had an issue with it glamorizing teen pregnancy or with MTV using Teen Mom (and TM gets it’s girls from 16 and Preg. obviously) to make these girls into little celebrities which could encourage other girls to get pregnant just to be on the show, like supposedly Alex and Jennifer with the twin boys did, it would make more sense. Personally, I always found 16 and Preg. depressing as hell, they didn’t sugar coat things as much. But the Teen Mom series definitely glamorized teen pregnancy by throwing ridiculous amounts of money at them and then presenting them on the show as average young moms, when they are far from it. But no, he just has a problem with it because they’re are UNWED teen parents. He should know that one thing MTV loves to glamorize are these idiot girls/guys getting impulsively married just because they have a child together. How many episodes did Leah and her weddings get? MTV loves these girls to get married even if it’s a horrible idea, it equals more ratings! Not to mention there has always been teenage pregnancy, unwed or not, MTV didn’t invent it and once these shows are long gone it will still exist.

    • A.J.

      It is noteworthy that on the one hand, he condemns teenage mothers, but when asked about the services offered to help them as they mature, he couldn’t even give a concrete answer on what, or where, such services are provided. Notice how he quickly shifted gears from that subject to his own background. One can’t condemn and judge someone, leave them hanging with no support, and them bash them for that. I doubt that he’s even watched the show.

      • ameliaBedelia76

        where did you read that he condemned, judged or leaves them with no support? Where was he bashing them? He doesn’t approve of the SHOW…get a clue & learn to read.

    • Derek’s Driveway

      Guys, it’s Illinois.

      Sorry to be the one to tell you, but this state is as backward as it can possibly be. :/

      • Kat

        Backwards? How so?

    • ameliaBedelia76

      I agree with this mayor & the school. It seems like some of you people can’t handle being told ‘no’. Get over it. It isn’t your choice. He doesn’t want MTV at his schools. Good for him.

    • Christopher Jannette

      THIS MAYOR IS A HERO

    • DM

      I’m not sure why this is such a big deal. I mean most of the scenes they need for the show are filmed indoors, so as long as they have a hospital that allows filming, the show is fine. I mean honestly, it isn’t the best press for a town to be featured on 16 & Pregnant. A lot of the girls were not allowed to film in their high schools – they would just use the little cartoon with the voiceover for those scenes. The administration sometimes find the camera crew following one person around to be distracting to other students. A kid from my high school was selected for MTV’s “I Used to be Fat” and was not allowed to film on school property for this reason.

 

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