TLC’s “Breaking Amish” May Not Be Legitimate

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Shannon Turgeon, News Editor

TLC has once again managed to create a new reality TV show that attracts a diverse audience. With over 3 million people viewing the first two episodes, “Breaking Amish” has quickly become one of TLC’s most popular series, according to the New York Daily News. Despite this, multiple sources have come forward claiming that some of the cast members are not who they claim to be. New information has surfaced leading many to believe that the five stars of this show are not as single, innocent, and newly Amish as they seem.

“Breaking Amish”, which premiered on September 9th,  “…provides a never-before-seen look inside the lives of young men and women as they, for the first time, trade horse and buggy with taxi cabs to break out from their respective Amish/Mennonite communities…” according to the show’s website. The five ex-Amish are shown using a cell phone and electricity for the first time, experiencing the sights and sounds of New York City, and adjusting to a completely new life. “Breaking Amish” also highlights the crumbling relationships between the cast and their families. Anyone who leaves the Amish or Mennonite way of life will be shunned by their community and may never speak to their families again, as explained on the “Breaking Amish” website.

To the unknowing eye, this show seems completely legitimate: all cast members have what seem like appropriate reactions to the modern world.  However, there are a number of sources that have come forward claiming that the cast members are not as innocent as they seem. WHP-TV in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania allegedly discovered articles and court records showing that one cast member left his Amish community five years ago. These records also show that some of the stars of “Breaking Amish” are married, divorced, and have kids, according to the Huffington Post. Despite this, TLC has continued to portray the cast as single and new to the modern world.

Another source close to the show told the New York Daily News that “As filming went on, it became clear that a cast member, and possibly another one, had misrepresented themselves.” TLC responded to this by issuing a statement: “There is a lot of controversy 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.” TLC’s production company, Hot Snakes Media, further explained itself: “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.”

It appears that viewers will have to wait until future episodes for the truth to be revealed. “Breaking Amish” airs on Sundays at 10 P.M. on TLC. For more information, go to http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/breaking-amish/about-breaking-amish.htm.