Amish in the City producer says controversy over the series was surprising.

Amish in the City producer says controversy over the series was surprising.
Amish in the City producer Jon Kroll talks to Salon’s Heather Havrilesky, and says he was surprised by the controversy that erupted over the series.

Why? “Because the thought of doing a show that was disrespectful to the Amish–I know this sounds strange, but it had not even occurred to us. We had always intended to do something that would be respectful.” He says that “there was great potential” for exploitation of the Amish participants, but says they ” were incredibly diligent about having long conversations with them about what the show was, what we intended to do, what the reaction could be from their communities and from the public after it was all over. We really tried to educate them as well as we could.”

He also explains how this show and others are valuable: “One of the mantras I like to preach, as silly as it may sound, is that reality shows at their best can be documentaries for the masses. They can be something that presents real-life situations in a way that they’re entertaining enough to draw a big audience.”

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.

Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.