‘Alaskan Bush People’: Fake Or Not, Matt Brown Is A Real Person With A Real Problem

Discovery’s Alaskan Bush People is between seasons right now, but you wouldn’t know it with all the buzz about whether or not it’s been cancelled and any changes that may be made to the show, cancellation or otherwise, because of Matt Brown’s alcohol issues. Of course, questions about whether or not Alaskan Bush People is fake continue, and there currently is no end in sight for that debate. But whether ABP is fake or not, Matt Brown is not fake. He is real. And his alcoholism is a very real problem.

Is Alaskan Bush People fake? Probably. There is so much evidence indicating that while Discovery is trying to portray the Browns as a family living in the bush of Alaska, they actually live most of their lives in either a hotel in Hoonah, Alaska or in Seattle. Radar Online reported months ago that residents of Hoonah report frequently seeing the Alaskan Bush People clan in town. Others have described multiple sightings at Icy Strait Lodge in town, where they say each of the boys has his own room. This pretty much confirms that claims of the Browns living in the Alaskan bush are fake.

If word of mouth isn’t enough to convince you that Alaskan Bush People is fake, there is a legal matter that also confirms it. The Inquisitr reported earlier this year on a legal issue that resulted in ABP patriarch Billy Brown and his second oldest son Joshua (Bam) serving a 30-day sentence for lying about their residency on applications for oil dividends from the state of Alaska. Court records indicate that the Alaskan Bush People family was not able to prove they resided in Alaska for the majority of the years 2009 to 2012. In fact, Billy Brown signed a statement in which he admitted that he lived in Seattle during that time, promoting the book he wrote that is the basis for the TV show.

While the lifestyle portrayed by Discovery’s Alaskan Bush People appears to be fake, the people on the show are real. They’re not fictitious characters. They are real people with real problems. Both Billy Brown and Ami Brown have health issues (Billy has seizures, and Ami has a spinal condition) for which they frequently travel to Seattle. They have legal problems as indicated above. And the most recently talked about problem in the Alaskan Bush People family, a problem that is not fake, is eldest son Matt Brown’s struggle with alcohol.


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Long before Matt admitted, on television no less, that he has an alcohol problem, rumors were flying. Hoonah residents reported seeing the Alaskan Bush People star in the Icy Straits Lodge bar frequently. There were reports of his being arrested in Juneau for DUI. But neither Discovery nor anyone in the Brown family was confirming the problem. Until last season.

In an Alaskan Bush People scene that was possibly the most real few minutes of all the seasons of the show, we first saw Matt talk to his brother Gabe. He told him that he realized he had a problem and wanted to get help. He was, however, afraid to tell his family of self-proclaimed teetolalers. Here’s how he described his feeling to People later.

“There was a shame for feeling weak. I didn’t want to tell them that. But my family trusts each other. We don’t have secrets, so it made me feel that I was more of a bad guy… There was a lot of anxiety. It took a couple days to work up the guts to tell my parents.”

The anxiety was very real, especially give the reported reason behind the decision of the ABP family not to drink. Ami Brown claims that when she married Billy at the age of 15, he rescued her from an abusive household that included an alcoholic father. She has indicated that is the reason that the Alaskan Bush People clan was not home when her mother and other family members traveled to Alaska to see them. Social media posts indicated that the Browns were in Hawaii at the time.

The last season of Alaskan Bush People ended with Matt heading off to rehab. There was a scene with Billy and Ami sitting, waiting for him to return. He didn’t. Does this mean that he has been written off the show?

Lots of theories have been presented on that topic. Some of those theories involve the whole question about whether Alaskan Bush People is fake or real and how including Matt Brown in the next season would help or hurt the show’s dwindling ratings. The problem with that is that Matt Brown is a real person with real problems. Yes, Discovery apparently manipulates the truth about how the Browns live, so it could be argued that Alaskan Bush People is fiction, but the people on the show are real.

Now I’m not naive enough to believe that Discovery won’t do whatever is best for ratings. That’s the real-world truth. But honestly, this fake show needs to remember that the “cast” of Alaskan Bush People are humans, and if Discovery won’t keep that in mind when making decisions about the future of the show, hopefully, Matt and his family will push for whatever they believe is best for him. Although many spend hours trying to figure out the details of what’s going on with the ABP clan, we don’t know the full story about anything. It would seem that a change of scenery and a break from life as he has known it for a while could help Matt really get his life back on track and help increase his chances of really kicking this demon. Maybe he should stay in Seattle for a while! I don’t know. Only Matt and those close to him know what’s best for this Alaskan Bush People star. Let’s just hope that as decisions about the future of this “reality show” that is full of fakery are made, everyone remembers that Matt and his problems are not at all fake.

[Image via Discovery]