MTV executives have insisted new reality television series The Valleys is not intended to create an unfavourable impression of Wales.
From the producers of Geordie Shore, the six-week non-scripted series charts the lives of nine participants as they move to live and work in Cardiff.
The youngsters claim they are moving to Cardiff for better opportunities.
Kerry Taylor, director of television at MTV, said: "The reason we came to Wales was all the people we have on the show – while they want to leave the Valleys because they want to improve their lives – they’re all incredibly proud of being Welsh and they have a very strong sense of identity, which I think is really unique and special.
“But we’re categorically not saying they are representative of Wales and the Valleys, this is their individual stories.
“You have got issues about unemployment and there are challenges about how people can fulfil their ambitions and their dreams. It’s not just about there, it’s in lots of places around the country. It is important that we do reflect that.
“But I do really feel that you get a real sense of their pride in their own identity.
“This absolutely not about slating about a part of the world but I think it’s about reflecting something that is very real and very serious at the moment in the lives of young people, for our audience to connect with.
“We’re making a 10pm entertainment show and if that invites discussion and allows people from Wales to come out and talk about Wales and the great things about it, that’s great.”
Nicole Morris, from Swansea, and Port Talbot's Lateysha Grace are among the participants who have signed up for the show which kicks off on Tuesday September, 25.
Their progress will be presided over by two mentors — 31-year-old glamour model and photographer Anna Kelle, known as AK, and nightclub promoter Jordan Reed, 28.
Call centre manager Carley Belmonte from Caerphilly said: “If they could bring the opportunities to the Valleys it would be a completely different story, but I think unfortunately there isn’t the opportunities we’re looking for in the Valleys, so we have to somewhere else.”