Do the Alaskan Bush People get paid? We asked! Read our interview with the Brown family.
— Ryan Berenz (@ChannelGuideRAB) October 22, 2015
Season 2 Recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Wild Times | Episode 9 | Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12 | Episode 13 | Episode 14 | SHARK WEEK! | Episode 15 | Episode 16 | Lost Footage | The Wild Year
There were a lot of things about Discovery Channel’s unscripted series Alaskan Bush People that didn’t pass the smell test. Now there’s more foul air surrounding the Brown family, and it’s very likely we’ve seen the last of them on TV.
Commenter Talkeetnachris tipped us to this:
Billy brown was just charged with stealing over $13000 filing fraudulent PFD claims in Alaska. His near life will be in prison. A few other family members were also charged. This guy and his family are frauds. I have lived off the road system for years and these people won’t last a year. You have to be self sufficient. Hell, I even had to stitch a band cut on my leg once. Many of these shows only have entertainment value with no real practical lessons on what really living on your own is about.
Many commenters doubted that the Browns were actually living off the land, as the show depicted. Instead, it appears the Browns may have been living off of fraudulent Alaskan Permanent Fund Dividend applications. According to Anchorage’s KTUU, patriarch “Billy Brown alone faces 24 felony counts and is accused of illegally obtaining $13,080 in dividend cash for himself and others. The charges do not describe why investigators believe the Brown family was not eligible for the dividends that some members received between 2010 and 2013.” Also indicted were five of Billy’s seven children: Amora Jean Snowbird, Joshua “Bam Bam,” Gabriel “Gabe,” Solomon “Bear” and Noah.
This will come as disappointing news to the many fans of the show who appreciated the Browns’ family values and the off-the-grid lifestyle that they claimed to represent. The credibility of Discovery Channel and Park Slope Productions has to be questioned, as they apparently weren’t diligent about checking the Browns’ backgrounds (even before these indictments came to light) and then aired a special episode with the family defending their authenticity. And personally, recapping Alaskan Bush People has been great fun, and I’m going to miss writing about it and reading all of your comments.
I’m so mad, I could punch a fish.
Update: Get this. Discovery Channel says they are “currently filming new episodes.” From the Alaska Dispatch News:
Stair said that between October 2009 and August 2012, the family did not meet the “physical presence requirement” to receive PFDs. This means the state believes the family spent more than 180 days a year living outside of Alaska and lied about it on their applications, Stair said.
Sean Martin, director of communications at Discovery Channel, wrote in an email Thursday that “we don’t divulge our actual shoot dates, so cannot let you know when filming concluded on season one, but can confirm that we are currently filming new episodes, but have not announced those air dates yet.”
I don’t even…