After two episodes, Breaking Amish is facing questions about its authenticity as a series that purports to show Amish and Mennoite people leaving their communities. The debut earned ratings higher than that of TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
TLC issued a statement saying,
“There is a lot of information floating around about the group featured on ‘Breaking Amish.’ Much of it is not true, but some of it is–and is addressed in upcoming episodes.”
That was in response to growing criticism and evidence that suggests the cast members’ TV stories don’t line up with their actual lives.
A Facebook page called Breaking Amish: The Truth launched last week with the goal of “peacefully & respectfully document misleading information in TLC’s “Amish Breaking” and pass on accurate portrayals of Amish and Mennonites.” That includes a photo of two cast members with a baby it says was taken in 2011, though on the show they aren’t yet together, and evidence that suggests one cast member was previously married.
Another page, Breaking Amish the Expose, launched two days later as “a community of people dedicated to exposing the truth about the show Breaking Amish,” people who “are, were, or know the Amish.” It has posts such as a screenshot of what it says is a marriage license from 2009 and a cast member’s MySpace page with photos that are from 2007.
However, the show’s production company, Hot Snakes Media, seems to be standing behind the authenticity of their characters’ on-screen stories, telling Variety,
“Our Amish and Mennonite producers that we hired introduced us to Amish and Mennonite men and women who were already determined to leave. They had already made the decision to go out and see the world, with or without us. They courageously allowed us to follow them on this journey.”