It might be the understatement of the year to say that the new sheriff of Terrebonne Parrish is not a big fan of reality TV. In fact, if A&E were to compile its “10 Most Wanted,” chances are Jerry Larpenter would be at the top of its list.
Reality shows come and go for one reason or another, but the situation with A&E’s Cajun Justice is a precedent nobody ever could have imagined. The show followed Sheriff Vernon Bourgeois (pictured) and his deputies as they patrolled the swamps of Louisiana until Bourgeois lost his position to Larpenter. Many lawmen might have considered their own TV show a sweet perk to a new job, but not this badge-wielding cop. Larpenter proceeded to fire two dozen staffers, many of which were featured prominently on the series.
Um, can you say game over? The Terrebonne Sheriff’s Department has been fairly quiet on Larpenter’s decision, but it did tell TMZ and other media outlets that they “are no longer participating in the show.” Fortunately for A&E, it already had enough footage to finish out the first and — what we are presuming to be — last season.
The interesting aspect of reality TV is how it is perceived by the people who appear in the programs. Most participants assume they will be made out to be celebrities, but that is not always as positive as it seems. In fact, we’ve seen in to be just the opposite on everything from Hoarders to Dance Moms to Toddlers & Tiaras.
Judging from this comment on the website hollywoodgossip.com by a woman named “Sarah,” not everybody was thrilled with the way their parish was being represented on Cajun Justice:
“I live in Terrebonne Parish, in Houma, and this show is an embarrassment. It depicts our population as ignorant-voodoo practicing-illiterate fools. And Slick, Sheriff Bourgeois is the crook. Sheriff Larpenter is trying to maintain the integrity of our public defenders as well as the integrity of our beautiful parish.”
Larpenter has not spoken specifically about why he pulled the plug, but this statement on his website speaks volumes about his serious approach to law enforcement: “I will provide a professional staff in all departments of the Sheriff’s Office that will serve you, the people of Terrebonne Parish. My commitment has been and always will be to make our parish a safe place to live and raise our children and grandchildren.”
The reality of this reality TV situation is that A&E will lick its wounds, move on and find another show to fill the void. Heck, they might want to give “Sarah” from Terrebonne Parish a call. She seems like she is outspoken enough to warrant at least 15 minutes of fame.