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Swastika, sex abuse scandal: Should Mama June be cashing in on From Not to Hot?

Mama June, who fans said looked like she was wearing a fat suit in Episode 1 of From Not to Hot
Mama June, who fans said looked like she was wearing a fat suit in Episode 1 of From Not to Hot

Mama June Shannon is a questionable reality TV show character at best — and her reappearance on our screens in new series From Not To Hot has left some fans very uncomfortable.

The series sees her transform her body image through dieting and surgery.

But viewers took to Twitter both before and after last week’s premiere episode aired to express their surprise that her fame was being resurrected.

Why? Firstly, there is the fact that in 2014 TLC cancelled her old show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo over allegations that she was back dating her ex-boyfriend, convicted child molester Mark McDaniel, who spent 10 years in prison for his crimes.

The cancellation came days before June’s own daughter Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell came forward saying she was the girl McDaniel had abused when she was eight.

Photos then emerged which appeared to show June had also been exposing her young daughter Honey Boo Boo, then nine, to the sex offender.

These facts haven’t gone down well with some viewers, including blogger and TV personality Perez Hilton.

But McDaniel isn’t the only male acquaintance of Mama June to have drawn attention.

Fans also took to Twitter after her friend “Big Mike” appeared in the first episode of From Not To Hot with tattoos of a Nazi Swastika and what looks like the SS logo for Hitler’s Schutzstaffel paramilitary police on his arm.

Viewed upright, the tattoo also appears to resemble the ‘dog face’ logo of white supremacist group the Keystone State Skins, although there is no suggestion Mike is in any way affiliated with or is a member of the group.

Big Mike and, circled, the Swastika and SS runic insignia on his arm in Mama June: From Not to Hot
Big Mike and, circled, the Swastika and ‘SS’ insignia on his arm in Mama June: From Not to Hot
Big Mike's tattoo, showing the swastika, 'SS' lettering, and an apparent dog's face
Close-up of Big Mike’s tattoo, showing the swastika, ‘SS’ lettering, and an apparent dog’s face

There has also been controversy after some viewers claimed it looked like producers had dressed June in a fat suit to shoot parts of the new series.

Fans pointed to apparent facial prosthetics which didn’t seem to be well applied about half of the time, and made it look like her chin was slipping.

For those of you who didn’t watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and who may not be familiar with why TLC dropped Mama June like a hot potato, let me bring you up to speed.

It happened after claims came to light that Mama June was messing around with her recently-released-from-prison convicted child molester ex-boyfriend McDaniel.

Official mugshot of Mama June’s ex-boyfriend and convicted sex offender Mark McDaniel

Days later June’s eldest daughter Anna came forward to say she was the eight-year-old who he molested while her mother was previously dating him.

Anna also claimed her sister Pumpkin repeatedly defended her mother because she believed McDaniel was her dad.

Incredibly, Mama June then went on the Dr. Phil show to claim McDaniel may have been rehabilitated and therefore might no longer be a danger to children — and said Anna sometimes lied.

Meanwhile, Facebook shut down McDaniel’s page after realizing who he was, due to a strict policy they have prohibiting sex offenders from using the social networking site.

Fast forward to the present day

Two years later, and June has a new show. This isn’t her first return to reality TV, after she and her baby daddy Sugar Bear appeared on WE tv’s Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars 4, which began airing in December 2015.

I say “baby daddy” because June and Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson never got legally married, and their relationship collapsed shortly after their wedding.

Any doubts about how “real” the marriage was were answered in the first episode of Mama June: From Not to Hot when Sugar Bear announced his engagement to somebody else, and his intent to get married “for real”.

In the episode we also learned that Mama June has been making money by doing rather lewd appearances at strip clubs.

Unfortunately, we can’t unsee the footage included in Episode 1 of her dancing a pole for an audience, and performing acrobatic feats with an almost naked woman.

As mentioned above, we’re also now all familiar with  June’s bestie, known as “Big Mike” or “Big Sexy”, and who is a featured member of the cast.

He’s at their house all the time, with the swastika on his arm VERY visible in the first episode of the show.

The storyline behind From Not to Hot is apparently that Mama June got mad when she found out Sugar Bear is marrying somebody else, so she went on a “revenge diet” that seemingly lasted about a week.

She then told her manager Gina what she was up to, and Gina pitched Mama June for a “transformation” kind of show. That’s how we ended up here.

Mama June: Should she have a new TV show?

Neither WE tv nor production company ThinkFactory Media responded to our requests for comment.

With the claims surrounding Mama June’s choice in men — both as partners and as friends — should she really have a new TV show?

And was she really wearing a fat suit, meaning some of the footage was staged?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

Mama June: From Not to Hot airs on Fridays at 10/9c on WE tv.


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