Can you Spell “Inauthentic”?

I’ve been asked, over the past several weeks, what I think of the reality television series Breaking Amish. I always answer the same thing, “I don’t watch television, and I cannot imagine that this show is all that “real” or authentic. It would be the first reality show about the Amish that ever was. And so I was paying no more attention to the show than I would the 210th (or however many there are by now) Amish novel that is coming out. Obviously I wasn’t paying attention to even the names, when the young woman who is living with us picked a name to change hers to for the sake of this blog. So when I received an email from an anonymous writer, she and I scratched our heads over it. It read as follows:

Rebecca, I am memorized by your show and how facinated you are by the English ways. Last Sunday, Sabrina thought it was so funny (NOT) that she found your false teeth and make fun of you. Us English call that NOT being a friend. Do not confide in Sabrina or that other Bishops daughter. You are being protrayed as a pawn in their game. I would not call those two “girls” true friends! I’m surpised that TLC allowed such disrespectfulness towards you. TLC did it I suppose for the rating…so sad hunny you were targeted. Hopefully, TLC, will refrain from doing this embaressing taunt again. 

Then I found out that “Rebecca” is the name of one of the characters on Breaking Amish. Shoot! Had we known that, we could have used a different name. Now some people are thinking I’m housing one of those actresses from the reality show and I don’t even know who she is!

I sure don’t want to spend a lot of time or energy on repudiating the show. Many other former Amish have already done that. For a list of links, please see below. It just makes my job (and others who’ve lived the Amish life) of clearing up perceptions about the Amish so much more daunting. I don’t feel like adding to the publicity these people are already getting. But shame on the producers of the show for using the Amish image and twisting the truth for their own gain. All I have to do is keep believing that we get what we give, what goes around comes around, we reap what we sow. There are unintended consequences to everything, and I’m sure making this show as they did is no exception. Maybe someday there will be rules to govern what can be called “reality” television by holding them to some standards or code of ethics that stipulates they need to portray what’s real if they are going to call it a reality show.

Watch the show if you want… just remember that it is no more “real” than a movie made with these characters as actors. 

For a small sampling of the articles about the lies and inauthenticity of Breaking Amish, you can follow these links:

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10 thoughts on “Can you Spell “Inauthentic”?”

  1. I don’t watch TV either :) If I did,I don’t think I would watch that show….I prefer to read the more authentic heart warming stories about the Amish way of life….blessings

  2. Oh no! I have seen the commercials for that show. It really didn’t look real to me. Not that I’m Amish but they just didn’t seem to be from the Amish to me. Hope they leave you and your friend alone.

  3. We don’t watch or even own a television so I’ve never seen Breaking Amish, but I do know that there is an inordinate number of folks that take what they see on the television as gospel. Welcome to bizarre/gullible/illiterate America. *rolls eyes*

    Have a good weekend!

  4. Sounds all too familiar. It’s the same thing that National Geographic and Jeff Collins did to a Hutterite community. They promised a documentary and aired their own scripted/staged version of our life, because, and I quote, “Your life is not interesting enough.” Well, if that is the case, why bother at all. We would have all been better off.

  5. Oh, my goodness…who would write that? I’ve seen the show, and of course it’s ridiculous! What’s more ridiculous is for someone …ANYone… to think it’s real and associate a single name used with the pseudonym of your friend. That’s quite a stretch, isn’t it!!??

  6. Oh my. I hope you and Rebecca had a good laugh over that one. :)

    I’ve watched a couple episodes of “Breaking Amish” and won’t be watching any more. This show is so contrived, over-dramatized and downright inauthentic that it’s offensive. I’m not Amish, or even that familiar with Amish culture, but I could immediately tell that many of the things the characters were saying and doing were obviously acted for the cameras.

  7. Last night was the first time I saw a listing for Breaking Amish… I’m not even sure what that means. I’m a bit curious, but I get fed up easily with contrived, trite stories in the name of “this or that” and in REALITY, they have no clue. Give me real “reality” … Saloma, Mary Ann, Monica, Katie T. I love the funny stories, the pictures and even the saddest of chapters can warm my heart when I know the author and outcome of the book. I’d rather read an Amish novel written by a Christian than watch a worldly produced so called “Amish” series.

    Actually, looking forward to a REAL, true to life love story from Saloma and David :-)

  8. Hello Saloma. Thank you for this post concerning Breaking Amish. Yes, having majored in Theatre in college, I suspected that much of that show is scripted. One thing I know: believe less than half of what one sees on TV. We can actually still the frame after a show’s credits and see what they flash-by quickly, something to the effect of, “Portions of the preceding program have been edited”. I have not seen that message on Breaking Amish, but it is on many “reality” shows’ credits.
    I have been following your blog for some time now, and really appreciate your honesty.

  9. I don’t know that I ever saw “Breaking Amish.” Anything I watch is on disc from the library (I am totally addicted to BBC murder mysteries) or viewed from my mom’s tv, which is on 24/7, when I visit her. A couple of days ago I stumbled upon “Leaving Amish Paradise”, which I greatly enjoyed, via You Tube. I wonder how those folks are doing now. My heart ached for the husband/father with all the obstacles he had before him. And for the confusion he experienced after he received Jesus. His mindset was still that of an Amish man. Things do take time, though. God is most patient with us all.
    I don’t care for the Amish paperback fiction. I appreciate the fact that someone is working hard, using their gift of writing, and paying their bills with the royalties. But I find it deceiving to conceal lust under a crisp, white bonnet. Really?
    Call a spade a spade!

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