TLC’s ‘Breaking Amish’ Reunion Specials Downplay Fraud Rumors

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TLC’s ‘Breaking Amish’ Reunion Specials Downplay Fraud Rumors
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TLC’s ‘Breaking Amish’ Reunion Specials Downplay Fraud Rumors

Last month TLC promised that the Breaking Amish: The Shunning Truth specials would “address all of the swirling rumors and allegations” that have surrounded the authenticity of the reality show. But tonight on the last of the two-part cast reunion shows, the series’ Jeremiah, Kate, Sabrina, Rebecca, and Abe were mostly circumspect about the controversies and how much of the show was fake. The five avoided answering some questions from Access Hollywood’s Michelle Beadle. And the cast insisted that many other revelations of their prior experiences with the modern world, including DUIs and previous marriages, aren’t anyone else’s business. “They can believe whatever they want but if they want to know they can watch the show,” said Rebecca about the cast’s lives. “I don’t give a [beeped out] what anybody thinks.”

Parsing their words, the cast members dismissed online critics who have said the series is bogus as “jealous” ex-Amish/Mennonites or hypocritical members of the isolated communities who are looking for someone to scapegoat. One of the controversies centered on a picture from 2011 posted online that showed Rebecca and Abe with a baby, suggesting the couple had been together before the show. While Rebecca admitted on the November 11 season finale that she did have an infant daughter, she wouldn’t go into any details tonight. “I’m not going to tell you anything about it anymore,” she said, citing legal issues. The now-married couple did admit that they had met in their community previous to the filming of Breaking Amish earlier this year but revealed little more. “You can think whatever you want,” said Rebecca to Beadle. The identity of the father of the baby — be it Rebecca’s previous husband or Abe — has never been confirmed.

A big hit for the network, TLC has not announced if there will be another season of Breaking Amish, produced by Hot Snakes Media. It purported to chronicle five Amish/Mennonite adults ages 20-32 as they left behind their isolated community for the big city and modern world. The reunion specials, which were produced by Peacock Prods, did make clear that the cast were more familiar with the “English” world than first indicated. The cast did admit tonight that they’d all “snuck out” from their communities at one point or another, worked in “English” jobs and that several of them had been arrested for being drunk. All five insisted they are truly the people they claimed to be when the show debuted September 9. None of them live in Amish or Mennonite communities now.

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