Even if Alaskan Bush People is likely fake, it’s hardly the end of the world. After all “fakery” is pretty synonymous with reality TV — a fact that’s all too disturbing if you really think about it.
According to the Alaska Dispatch News, a generous tax credit brought all sorts of fake reality TV shows to Alaska. It’s just that Alaskan Bush People happens to be one of the better known Alaskan wilderness shows.
Therefore, the fact that Alaskan Bush People is more fictitious than factual isn’t something to freak out over. However, the myths that some fans believe about the Brown family and their show are rather disconcerting. Here are some of the worst lies that Alaskan Bush People fans continue to mistake for the truth about their favorite reality TV show.
Lie No. 1: Alaskan Bush People Is A Learning Tool For Wilderness Survival
Please never attempt to use a well-edited reality TV show as a real-world reference for wilderness survival. Locals who live near where Alaskan Bush People is filmed have stated repeatedly that the family doesn’t even live in “Browntown” much of the time.
Radar Online reports that when not filming, the family is often holed up in a cushy hotel. If this self-proclaimed “wilderness family” cannot be bothered to rough it in the Alaskan wilderness, they’re probably not people you should be taking life-saving tips from.
It’s even rumored that some of the construction on Alaskan Bush People was performed by a local business.
What does this mean? It means that if you’re an armchair survival enthusiast, you should look elsewhere for actual survival information if ever you decide to be a “bush person” in real life.
Lie No. 2: That The Browns Are Poor And Fans Should Send Money
Would you believe there was backlash for simply suggesting the Browns probably don’t need your money? You can certainly send money to a reality TV show family. Nobody is saying you can’t throw your hard-earned cash at the Browns because you sincerely think they need your help. It’s just that the Browns probably don’t need it.
As is common with reality TV stars, the “Wolf Pack” are paid to appear on Alaskan Bush People. The Browns were able to enjoy a vacation in Hawaii during peak tourist season. If you pay close enough attention, you’ll note that some of the show’s actors have enjoyed minor “upgrades” in clothing and accessories — the kinds of things that don’t happen when you’re broke.
There’s also that $21,000 fine that magically went “poof.” Both Alaskan Bush People and the Browns themselves refused to mention it despite repeatedly talking up the jail time — which is kind of weird. As such, it’s probably best to put your cash back in your wallets — or to put that money in the hands of Alaskans who really need it.
Lie No. 3: The Browns Didn’t Break The Law
As Season 5 of Alaskan Bush People mentioned (repeatedly), patriarch Billy Brown and his son Bam had to serve a 30-day sentence in relation to multiple acts of fraud.
The theatrics of the show led to claims like this:
Alaskan news sources like Juneau Empire and Alaska Dispatch-News lay the case out in black and white. According to reports about the Brown criminal case, the family pleaded guilty to Permanent Fund Dividend fraud. It’s understandable if it were a one-time offense and completely accidental.
Yet, as the Juneau Empire reports, the Brown family admitted that “they left the state in October 2009 and didn’t return until August 2012, yet continued cashing in on their cut of the state’s oil money.” To qualify for the dividend, you need to be in Alaska for a majority of the calendar year in question. The Browns were nowhere near Alaska for a period of four years.
If you’re still not convinced, let me ask you a few simple questions:
- Do you know where you are right now?
- Would you notice if you were suddenly in another state or country?
- Would you notice it if you remained away from your home state or country for a period of about four years?
If you are having difficulty answering these questions, you should probably seek assistance immediately in order to get your proper bearings. Or maybe you should buy a compass.
But to return to the point, the Browns weren’t “hauled to court” because Alaskan prosecutors had nothing to do: These people cheated the state and Alaskans everywhere. In fact, despite the high-profile nature of the Alaskan Bush People scandal, Alaska Dispatch-News writes that PFD fraud is a big problem.
Lie No. 4: Alaskan Bush People Is An Accurate Representation Of Alaska
This is perhaps the most bizarre belief among fans. Why? Because I have yet to see an Alaskan praising Alaskan Bush People for its flattering and accurate representation of the state. At least, an Alaskan that wasn’t doing so ironically.
Alaskan reality TV shows are so popular, and yet most do little or nothing to promote Alaskans in a positive light. Even worse, the show’s biggest fans and defenders in terms of accuracy are typically not Alaskan themselves. If people repeatedly tell you that a show is a poor representation of who they are and what their state is like, shouldn’t that mean something?
In the end, Alaskan Bush People is like any reality TV series: something no one should believe outright. It should be enjoyed for entertainment value only. Don’t buy into certain myths about the show, because you’ll inevitably be disappointed.
What are some misconceptions about Alaskan Bush People that you’ve seen promoted as absolutely true? Please share them below!
[Featured image by The Discovery Channel]