Alaskan Bush People is more than an Alaska-based reality television; it's currently an explosion of messy drama that blends carefully scripted programming with real-life scandals. As the lines between what's played up for the cameras and what's revealed by disgruntled Alaskans blurs, it becomes increasingly harder to tell the facts from the fiction.
For the longest time, it was assumed that Alaskan Bush People's fakeness was limited to the Browns, Park Slope Productions, and the Discovery Channel. However, things have gotten very complicated, very quickly.The Inquisitr's Alycia Ancell recently reported about a disturbing connection between the Browns, Twila Wilson (Billy Brown's allegedly long-lost daughter), and Les Branson (Ami Brown's reportedly estranged brother) among others.
"When it became clear that the Alaskan Bush People stars had skipped town and were vacationing in Hawaii during the exact time of Earlene's visit, an Alaskan local, who was part of the Alaskan Bush People Facebook groups, threw a special barbecue for Ami's mother. The people of Alaska wanted Earlene to know that even though her daughter didn't want to see her, they didn't feel the same way."Whereas many Alaskans openly detest Alaskan Bush People, the same cannot be said for an endearing-looking, sweet, little grandmother who had her feelings hurt. The party was meant to show good will towards Ami's mother and family members. After saying goodbye, it was implied the hapless group would be heading back to Texas.
The problem? That's apparently not quite what happened. Based on statements by Charles Gilbert, Ami's cousin and the one reportedly financing "MeMaw's" trip, contact was made with the Browns in Hawaii.
As Ancell writes, "Gilbert made a post stating he needed to hypothetically know the quickest way to get from Maui back to Juneau. This statement was odd, as the Browns were vacationing in Maui, and based on posts made by Branson and Gilbert, everyone believed Gilbert and Earlene had been in Alaska the entire time, not Maui."Once the discrepancy was noted, suddenly posts and videos connected to "MeMaw's Trip To Alaska" were snatched from the internet.
The outrage that followed led to a startling discovery: Gilbert, Branson, and Wilson were all members of a private Facebook group. Not only is Billy's eldest daughter one of the admins, but she also shares the role with Barbie Phillips. Phillips manages the Icy Strait Lodge, a motel the Alaskan Bush People stars allegedly call home when not filming at "Browntown."I cannot begin to tell you how disturbing this revelation is, particularly when you have Branson on Facebook, as quoted by Reality TV Scandals, claiming that his family is so worried about Ami and that they needed to check on her out of fear she's practically the emotional prisoner of husband Billy Brown.
Take a close look at the above picture. If you've read some of my "Alaskan Bush People is fake" articles in the past, you'll note how the Browns looks similar to the YouTube videos where they advertise One Wave At A Time than they do to their post-Alaskan Bush People selves.These videos went up in April 2008. A year later, Les Branson is referring to the Browns as the "Alaskan wilderness family," and helping to promote Billy's book. Branson's decision to do so took place during the same window of time where the Alaskan Bush People stars left Alaska for the "lower 48" to actively promote One Wave At A Time and seek a possible movie deal.
We know this to be so because that was the primary explanation as to why the "Wolf Pack" left Alaska for about four years before going back to film Alaskan Bush People.
"The plea deal with Billy Brown and his son calls for those charges to be dismissed, the newspaper reported.So what does this all mean?
"The pleas stem from allegations that family members had bilked the state's Permanent Fund out of more than $20,000 by claiming in applications from 2009 to 2012 that they met residency requirements when they hadn't, according to the Juneau Empire."
Well, it seems to strongly suggest that well-meaning Alaskans were duped by individuals who were in cahoots with the Alaskan Bush People cast and producers this entire time. Emotional statements made to gossip news sites and Facebook groups are now extremely suspect. Is Les Branson really concerned about his sister's well-being? Was that wellness check on Ami Brown just laying the groundwork for future Alaskan Bush People storylines? At this point, it's hard to know for sure.
If Billy Brown is the liar, thief, and con artist that Branson accused him of, why work with him to make money off of a book and reality TV show? It's also especially worrying to think that an 89-year-old woman of questionable health was used as psychological bait for native Alaskans and fans of Alaskan Bush People.
No doubt, Alaskan Bush People will string together a series of answers to these disturbing questions next season. Unfortunately, it's unlikely whatever excuses made will explain away the blatant dishonesty. It's okay that Alaskan Bush People is fake and understandable that producers want to avoid allowing the program to become increasingly predictable.
However, Alaskan Bush People might have crossed the line into "scammer" territory. This type of emotional manipulation and deception is in absolutely horrible taste and should be beneath the Discovery Channel.
[Image via the Discovery Channel]