McIntyres most famous residents, June Shannon and her 7-year-old daughter, Alana Honey Boo Boo Thompson, came to the Macon Marriott City Center on Saturday for a press junket that included individual interviews with about a dozen media from around the state.
They star in the TLC reality show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, which chronicles the daily life of the family and Alanas preparations to compete in beauty pageants.
The Telegraph was last in line for an interview, and by that time Alana had lost interest in answering reporters questions. Her mother, however, addressed how the show has impacted her family, rumors the family is moving to Macon, and what her neighbors think of the show.
TELEGRAPH: How has your life changed since this show started airing?
JUNE: It really hasnt changed any much, it really hasnt. Sugar Bear still works seven days a week. The children still go to public school. We still live in our same home. So our life has not changed at all. We are still who we were before show.
The only thing that has changed is that weve got paparazzi following us a little bit. Weve got fans that come to our house but we enjoy meeting new people and hearing their stories and how weve changed their life and how happy they are that we have our show and stuff.
TELEGRAPH: Its not scary when strangers show up at your door?
JUNE: I havent any crazies come up. We do have security so they screen people who come up to our house.
TELEGRAPH: So when you go to the Piggly Wiggly now, do you have a lot people who come up and want your autograph?
JUNE: A lot of people come up and just want pictures, and thats about all they do.
TELEGRAPH: Tell us what have been the reactions from your neighbors?
JUNE: To my face, the reactions have not been bad or good. Nobody has actually said anything negative. If anything people are like, Youve put McIntyre on the map. Thats what we get a lot of times. Youve got people who are going to like you and people who are going to hate you in life, and thats just how it is.
TELEGRAPH: How much to you make to do the show?
JUNE: I dont choose to talk about how much we make. I will just say that TLC does well compensate us and takes care of me and the children.
TELEGRAPH: But wont that change your life?
JUNE: No, we are still going to stay grounded. Youve always got to stay grounded. You cant go Hollywood. Youve got to remember where you came from. We do a lot of community outreach programs. We do a canned food drive every year ... We are still going to do that. We are just going to go bigger and better. It will give us more opportunity to do more for our community.
TELEGRAPH: I heard you talking earlier about the rumors about you moving to Macon and putting (Alana) in private school.
JUNE: No, no million dollar mansion being bought by TLC in Macon. No going to Tattnall Square, wherever that is. I dont even know where that school is. Theres no us going to GMA, nothing. All those rumors are fake.
TELEGRAPH: Do you know if the show is going to come back for a second season?
JUNE: No, right now we do not know. ... If they decide to do that, it will be great, but if not we will just go on with our next adventure in life.
TELEGRAPH: With Alana, at what point did you realize you had ... I know every child is special, but that you realized had something a little different there?
JUNE: All my kids, like you just said, all my kids are special to me. Alana is a fresh breath of air. Shes got a big personality. She loves to entertain people. She loves, like now she is just running around the room and having fun and being a typical 7-year-old.
TELEGRAPH: You were saying no ones come up to you and said they dont like the show, but Im sure you are well aware many people dont like the show. They say it represents negative stereotypes about the South.
JUNE: Personally I did not say I was representing everybody in the South. I never came out and said Hey, Im representing Georgia, or Hey, Im representing Wilkinson County. We are life. We are not square people. We are just a crazy little family that likes to have fun and make memories with our kids and take every day one day at a time.
TELEGRAPH: How would you assess your motherhood?
JUNE: Me being a parent, Im not a perfect parent by any means. Kids dont come with an instruction manual, but I know I am making memories with my kids, and my kids are happy. They are well taken care of and they are loved. They get anything they need and most of what they want.
TELEGRAPH: There are so many cases, as Im sure you are well aware, of child stars where later in life, things go bad. Do you have any concerns about that?
JUNE: No, because Alana knows where she comes from. Alana doesnt realize how famous she actually is, honestly, and we keep it that way.