Larry Musnik, producer behind “Teen Mom OG,” recently revealed what it has been like working behind-the-scenes of the MTV reality series since 2009. He also discussed why he's so tough on star Farrah Abraham, who first appeared on the program after a stint on “16 and Pregnant” six years ago.
“I was tough on her? I think yes, but it's kind of important. Farrah sometimes needs that. I think she needs someone to be that voice,” Musnik told Cosmopolitan on Tuesday. “Maybe she'd admit it too, who knows? It's Farrah. She tests everybody around her. Her family, everyone in her life, will get a little bit of that. I can be the one that's a little harder [on her]. I think she ultimately respects me for it.”
Abraham, now 23, appeared on the MTV show "16 and Pregnant" in 2009 and remained a cast member for four seasons of the spinoff series "Teen Mom" until its cancellation in 2012. She returned to the reality series this year with the "Teen Mom OG" reboot.
Musnik admitted to Cosmopolitan he grew attached to the show’s original cast members, which include Maci Bookout, Catelynn Lowell and Amber Portwood.
“We've been a constant in their lives and have become, in many cases, part of the family. Some producers have sat down and had holiday meals, Thanksgiving with [them] — and they have to film during it,” he said. “We all talk to each other all the time. This is a true lifestyle show. It's [about] cultivating these relationships, really. I don't know where it separates. I don't have a workday like anybody else. They call me — and can call me, know they can — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If something happens in the middle of the night that needs to be discussed, that they need me for or their other producers for, they call.”
Musnik said he grew especially close to Portwood, 25.
“We've known Amber for so long. Amber still remembers this story: We were all new to this world back with Amber, and I saw her, she had no healthy food,” he explained. “She was pregnant with Leah, and she was eating those canned mandarin oranges and blue Gatorade or something. And being a parent myself, I was like, 'Oh my goodness.' So I left with a rental car and went to the supermarket and just went grocery shopping for all kinds of healthy food.”
Though fans of “Teen Mom OG” enjoy seeing televised drama, Musnik said that the really wants to see the cast members succeed. He also hopes they use their experiences to help others.
“I do want to see them do well. I want to see that they've gone through this and turned a corner and can help others now navigate it,” he explained. “That's the greatest thrill for me, when they're doing that. When they're getting into trouble or throwing their boyfriends or girlfriends out at night, I do get disappointed in them.”
"Teen Mom OG" airs Mondays at 10 p.m. EDT on MTV.