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.