Mackenzie Edwards recently chatted with an old pal– Teen Mom OG grandma Debra “Debz OG” Danielsen— on Deb’s new RHEB3L – EMPOWER podcast, spilling the tea on shady things she says MTV did to her and husband Ryan Edwards during their time on the show.
As ‘Teen Mom OG’ fans know, Mackenzie, Ryan and Ryan’s parents, Jen and Larry Edwards, were given the boot from the show in March 2021, after Ryan’s ex, Maci Bookout, demanded they be cut from the cast. Since then, the Edwards clan has kept a relatively low profile, and Mack’s appearance on Debra’s podcast marks one of the first interviews Mackenzie has done since leaving the show.
Here, The Ashley breaks down some of the most-interesting parts of Debz and Mackenzie’s video chat.
(The Ashley knows that this episode has been out for a few weeks and apologizes for the lateness of this write-up! But hey— better late than…pregnant, right?)
On whether she’d do more TV:
Mackenzie and Ryan haven’t appeared on any shows since they were let go from ‘Teen Mom OG’ and Mack said that fans shouldn’t expect to see their mugs on TV any time soon.
“I don’t think TV is a place for me or for Ryan anymore,” Mackenzie said. “I think that ship has sailed. I’m not quite sure that I really have anything that interesting going on besides just being a mom. And I’m good with that.
“But I think that because of the show and because of TV, I do now have a platform on social media that I can promote positivity and encouragement and empowerment to other people,” Mackenzie said.
In another part of the interview, Mackenzie said that being off of reality TV has been a big relief to her, Ryan and Ryan’s parents.
“The show being gone, it’s honestly been a weight lifted off of everybody’s shoulders,” she said. “Everybody just feels like ‘Ahh, I can take a deep breath…not having that extra level of public opinion is amazing for everyone…I know, and the people that I meet know, that I’m not this horrible, nasty human being. It’s a lot better now than it was.”
On why she and Ryan didn’t leave the show earlier:
Mackenzie has stated in the past that she felt MTV villainized her and Ryan; however, in her interview with Deb, Mackenzie revealed why they didn’t quit ‘Teen Mom OG’ before they were let go.
“How are you supposed to say, ‘I’m done’ and bow out and turn the money down? Because it was great money,” Mackenzie— who was paid in addition to Ryan’s big salary from the show—said. “That’s a hard thing to do, especially for your kids. You’re giving them opportunities that you really wouldn’t be able to do in the first place without it.”
She said that she and Ryan had considered leaving the show before they were let go.
“So we said, ‘We’re going to pray, and we’re going to say the same prayer. And if God wants to take it away from us, he’s just gonna have to shut the door.’ And I promise you— Bible!— the next day we got the phone call [telling us we were off the show],” Mackenzie said. “That’s what was meant to be, so I don’t think you can be hurt or sad or anything like that when you know that is the plan for you.”
On how upset she was with how MTV portrayed her wedding to Ryan:
Mackenzie stated that she had been really excited for her wedding, but when it aired on MTV, she was upset to see that it had been edited to look like a mess.
“I was so excited. I had been married before and it was a disaster,” Mackenzie said. “…We were kind of getting help and moving forward on a positive track [from Ryan’s addiction issues]. I was so happy because I had finally met someone and was engaged and getting married to someone that I loved so much. I felt like I was finally getting my ‘happily ever after’ almost.
“My parents worked so hard to pay for this wedding. They didn’t do the show, so they have regular jobs…and to have it portrayed like it was just kind of a trash event, and that we were mad and fighting. It was off-putting…”
On Ryan refusing to do the ‘Bentley needs counseling’ storyline & MTV being shady about it:
During the Edwards’ final season of ‘Teen Mom OG’ in 2021, one of the main storylines for Maci was trying to get Bentley— the son she shares with Ryan— to go to therapy with his dad. While Maci was slammed by fans who felt she was exploiting Bentley for a storyline, Ryan also caught a lot of flak for not going to therapy with his son.
In her interview with Deb, Mackenzie explained that the real reason Ryan didn’t go to therapy with Bentley was because he was very against the counseling sessions being filmed and/or discussed on ‘Teen Mom OG.’
“I really wish people could have seen Ryan’s heart behind it,” Mackenzie said. “It wasn’t that he didn’t want his child to receive counseling. It wasn’t anything like that. It was that we knew that it was already in a contract that was given to us, that this is how this was going to be for this season. This is what they were going to do. [Ryan] just wanted to hold on to that level of privacy. Not saying not get counseling [with Bentley] but not do it on television.
“That’s a really private thing to go through…involving MTV is never going to make things better,” Mackenzie said, adding that she was also against Bentley discussing his therapy on TV.
“I just wish, going back, he could have said—and I’m sure he did say it— but they would have shown him saying, ‘I’m putting my foot down, not because I don’t want to do counseling and not because I don’t think it’s beneficial, but because it’s dramatized. This is for a storyline and that’s not right! I’m still a dad and I still care about my son’s emotions.
“Ryan went round and round with [Executive Producer] Larry [Musnik] actually, in our garage on the phone saying, ‘I’m not going to do this. I’m not signing’ because they gave him a new contract. He said, ‘I’m not signing this.’”
On the shady way she says MTV tried to get them to disclose their medical/therapy info:
Mackenzie said that she and Ryan fought back against MTV and the show’s producers after they sat down and carefully read the new contract that was given to them.
“It was the first time I had ever read through a contract cover to cover. It’s like 100 pages of hoopla to read through,” Mackenzie said. “I had read through it and there were all of these very oddly placed medical-related questions and releases to sign. I went to [Ryan] and showed him and we both agreed that we’re not going to sign this.
“It was like a medical records request…the paper’s talking about any doctor visit, any therapy visit, all of that is to be released to MTV for the HIPAA release.”
Mackenzie claims that when she and Ryan confronted Producer Larry Musnik with questions about things in the contract, he stated they were misunderstanding it.
“Larry was trying to tell Ryan that’s not how it works, but we’re reading it on paper,” Mackenzie said.
“I am looking right here and it says, ‘I give full permission to authorize MTV to receive all of these records…That’s not OK. We’re not gonna do that.’ And they were like, ‘We’re not going to be able to continue your contract or pay you until you sign this.’
“And [Ryan] was like, ‘You need to tell me what is going on?’ And they were like, ‘No, no, it’s just for future reference.’ They were playing you like you’re stupid. That’s a really big deal. When you start using someone’s child, that’s a very big problem. They should think that’s a problem too.”
Mackenzie said she is not only protective over her son Hudson (from her previous marriage) and her kids by Ryan— Stella and Jagger— but also Bentley.
“Those are my babies, all four of them, those are our kids together,” she said. “That’s not happening on my watch.”
You can watch the full episode of Deb’s podcast below!
RELATED STORY: MTV Confirms ‘Teen Mom’ Shows Will Be Combined & Changes Working Title to ‘Teen Mom: The Next Chapter’
(Photos: YouTube, MTV)
Completely agree. Mtv has used these kids and it’s sick. Maci is disgusting making that little boy spread his problems on tv. Kids deserve semi normal life and privacy not being paycheck for parents. Show teaches nothing now but it’s OK to have multiple kids with different men. Give Chelsea credit for quiting for Aubrey u could tell kid hated being on.
Um, which wedding? The one where Rhine was high AF at a park or the one where he was high AF, chewing gum the whole time and looking like getting married was truly the last thing he wanted to do?
I can understand not wanting to leave because of the money but damn. The show has been dead since they gave birth, it’s dragging a dead dog down the road while fixing stories to seem relevant and interesting. Honestly with them having social medial the whole deal with mtv is just pointless other than to make up stories and give them money. All the moms gone and on the show still are better off getting our for the sanity of their kids. They’re not doing any good for their kids by having them shown on tv in mostly fake stories.
I believe what she says and have sympathy for her. I say that knowing a lot of others will feel differently, blinded by their hate. MTV, and Larry specifically, was extremely exploitive and negative. I think the producers had distaste for Ryan(probably in part due to their differing political views) so he and his family were always going to be the villains (and admittedly, he’s a flawed oppositional person that made it easy for them to frame him in that way). It’s a blessing they were kicked off the show. It was so unhealthy.
I believe her too, for the most part.
I take the prayer stuff with a grain of salt but I’m sure they wanted them to sign off on the doctor releases. I’m sure they did.
Lol, yeah I’m with you. I was referring more to their dynamic with MTV and it being exploitive and producers trying to get access to air things the counselor says.
I’m an agnostic person. I don’t believe for one second that them getting fired was an act of God and I don’t necessarily believe Ryan and co sincerely spend their down time praying (though I can see them really being involved in a church community).
Yeah the dramastics are easy to wade through. Most ppl get caught up in the fluff and miss the whole story. I could care less who shot John. I want the dirt!
MTV is not kind to everyone. MTV contacts are not to favor the talent. For every storyline they need a good guy (Amber, Maci.. Chelsea) and a bad guy (Farrah, Jenelle, Kail). I love reading about the shady shit these companies do. I dont care who they roll out next to tell, I’m reading it!
Everyone has a price.
-0- =. Mack
Go get jobs
Well I imagine they have to have them now. However, you can say that about all the people on Teen Mom. That show will eventually end, probably sooner rather than later, and they will all need jobs. I wish it would end soon because some of those kids get quite exploited. I was disgusted about Bentley being forced to discuss some of the things he was forced to discuss.
She can blame MTV all she wants for the editing but that wedding was a trashy mess.
I don’t care how many times she says Bible, I don’t for a minute think Rhine prays about anything and especially not about whether to leave the show. I’m really sure they prayed and got a call from MTV telling them they were fired the next day.
Such a noble steed. Lucky Ryan got a good horse.
Idiots, both of them.
The only thing that was “trashy” about that wedding was Ryan being utterly hammered at it.
…”I can promote positivity and encouragement and empowerment to other people,” Mackenzie said.
Isn’t she the same woman who called Maci a petty b*tch?
My parents worked so hard to pay for this wedding…to have it portrayed like it was just kind of a trash event.
Oh honey, stop blaming editing. That was Rhine, he was drunk, f*cked up. And didn’t give two sh*ts about you. You spent time on your vows, and the man made them up on the spot and they were terrible. He was the one fighting over money with you…
[Ryan] just wanted to hold on to that level of privacy. Not saying not get counseling [with Bentley] but not do it on television.
Okay, so how many therapy sessions has Rhine been too????
I’m still a dad and I still care about my son’s emotions.
Rhine has NEVER been a dad to his son in his son’s entire life. His mother is more a parent to Bentley than Rhine EVER has. And This is the man who made fun of his son when he cried that his gf broke up with him. Okay, yep he really cares about his emotions.
She looks like she’s trying to be Chelsea.
Hate that hair color on her I think she looks so much better as a blonde.
I should’ve known before reading this it was gonna piss me off 😂😂. I’m an inside source-but you don’t have to be to see any of this. Never have they filmed an actual therapy session (esp the kids) and if they did it was tiny bits that they were permitted to film by the cast member AND physician. Each time they go to a school or doctos office etc the cameras weren’t allowed in or on the premises (that were more heavily enforced once the kids were in public school as opppsef to the daycare/preschool.) And I think she screwed her chances of being looked at as a good person when she read that “BS letter”, trying to blame Maci for Ryan’s addiction & possible death that only Maci knew about (not everyone in the world whose seem at least two or three scenes on the show) it but nobody else does, he could’ve DIED right Mack?! But yeah, no idea why Maci wouldn’t have lunch with her(like they did in the beginning, when she went to Jen and Larry like she was telling on her older sibling). And if the wedding was that picture perfect it would’ve played out that way, Ryan asking her about money after he admitted to spending 10k a week on heroin and saying her parents worked so hard for that wedding when in reality, mtv paid for the majority of it. But yeah, those brown eyes are still shining bright 😂😂🤣💀💀 And add insult to injury concerning Maci’s parenting, putting the seed in Bentley’s head that he had to go to private school, since Ryan “saved and contributed” the funds to pay for it(which was also a lie and hilarious that Jen and Larry believer him). 💕 Deb though and I’m confused as to why she would invite the witch on in the first place.
I know the woman is delusional. It makes me so angry.
If she and Rhine think that he needs therapy with his dad. Okay, Rhine’s been off the show for years now. How many therapy sessions has he gone to with his son?
Wait that expecting too much, how many times has he seen his son period? I can probably count it:
1. Father’s Day (which is a joke, and sp*t in Taylor’s face), but he probably goes over to Mimi’s house and sees Larry, who has been more of a father to Bentley than Rhine ever has.
2. Rhine’s birthday
3. Jen and Larry’s birthdays
4. Maybe the day after Christmas
5. His half-siblings birthdays.
And most of those times, it’s either Mimi Jen or Mack who is taking care of Bentley. And Rhine is either at the “Bank” or taking a nap after going to the “bank”.
Deb did it because she knows people are curious and it would draw a bit of a crowd to her shit ass podcast. She likely got a whole 10 people to listen for instead of what 3?
Seems like she has an excuse for everything and nothing is ever her or Ryan’s fault…
I don’t doubt for one second what she is saying is true. I guarantee MTV wanted to film those therapy sessions. I also guarantee they asked for a medical release so that they could try to use anything they can as a storyline. Maci’s storyline has always been, for the most part, talking about Ryan. MTV needed to get her some material to discuss.
Macy has gotten too big for her britches🤮
I completely agree! Her storyline has always been her talking about Ryan or bashing Ryan but she has her own addiction issues that she should address. She is not this perfect person she tries to portray.
Rhine doesn’t seem to give two shits about Bentley, never has. Mack stuck to him like stink on shit for the $ and D-lister status. But keep telling everyone that y’all were the victims. Got some ocean front property in Arizona, too.
Her eyes have remained brown since that reunion.
We had all these huge paychecks coming in, it was bad y’all. I’m not kidding, it was horrible. So we were praying to God to make it stop, to make the paychecks go away, and he listened y’all! God truly loves us! Like when his son, Jesus took the wheel on our way to our wedding. And this nasty MTV portrayed it as trashy. We weren’t trashy and Rhiine was not high y’all, he was just praying very hard cause Maci was triggerin’ him.
Omg, I’m dying! You just made me laugh so hard! Thank you for making a sucky day less sucky!😂
We remember the car scene Mack. Can’t edit that.