More about Amish TV

I live in Lan­cast­er Coun­ty, Penn­syl­va­nia, where the words “Amish” and “TV” don’t belong togeth­er. Many, pos­si­bly most Amish don’t even use elec­tric­i­ty. We are befud­dled about all this “Amish Mafia” stuff. We, espe­cial­ly me, only know about it from our local news­pa­per. In fact, today’s poll shows 80.9 % say “Yes, enough is enough.” But that does­n’t leave near­ly twen­ty per­cent who want to watch it because 13.7 % say, “Hon­est­ly, I don’t watch this stuff and I don’t care either way.”

Okay, I’m get­ting the cart before the horse. What brought this sub­ject up again? A cou­ple of front-page arti­cles in yes­ter­day’s news­pa­per. One tells about anoth­er “real­i­ty” TV show being filmed right now, “Amish Haunt­ing.” The oth­er is the sto­ry of a local film­mak­er who wants to com­bat those offen­sive Amish shows. (Fol­low the links to read their arti­cles.)

The film­mak­er, Mary Haver­stick, calls it Amish-sploita­tion. She won­ders what would hap­pen if some­one should pro­duce such films about anoth­er reli­gion, say, Chris­t­ian, Jew­ish, or Mus­lim. Nope, they would­n’t do that. They pre­fer to attack a reli­gion that does­n’t believe in object­ing to any­thing, or tak­ing any­one to court.

Some­thing I learned—all those shows are cre­at­ed and filmed by a pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny called Hot Snakes Media. Besides “Amish Mafia” and the Haunt­ing men­tioned above, they have pro­duced “Break­ing Amish” and “Return to Amish.” Might sound like they spe­cial­ize in Amish pro­duc­tions, but they also have oth­ers, among them “Elder Skel­ter” and “Naked Sci­ence.” One has to won­der about the bril­liance of the TV audi­ence.