Breaking Amish: Maybe Fake, Definitely Drunk

By Sue Smith 10/15/12

As the show gets ever-messier on screen, TLC is accused of being less-than-honest about the castmates' pasts.

Kate has been shunned for her alcohol abuse.
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Some earth-shattering "reality" TV news: the booze-soaked TLC show Breaking Amish is being attacked for falsifying details of the castmates' lives—to the point where some have dubbed it "Faking Amish." The show ostensibly whisks young Amish and Mennonites from Pennsylvania and puts them in a Hyatt on Lexington, introducing them to microwaves, light switches and Chateau Diane for the first time. But Facebook sleuths have recently claimed that cast members Abe and Rebecca—portrayed on screen as a newly-met courting couple—already have a child together. Star magazine joined the fun by reporting that castmate Jeremiah left the Amish no fewer than 14 years ago and has three children from an ex-wife, whom he abused. One thing that probably isn’t fake about the castmates is their alcohol abuse. Especially Kate’s: she's seen drinking to excess, blacking out, and making amends for some regrettable flipcamming—the Bishop’s daughter even picked up a DUI in Florida. On last night’s episode, the others "shunned" her for her drinking; they all moved into one hotel room, leaving Kate on her own. But the shunners are hardly angels: Abe has a 2008 arrest for public intoxication on his record, while Jeremiah frequently seems wasted. And aren't we told that it's better to confront an addict without anger and judgement, explaining to them rationally how their behavior is affecting you? Kate’s freak-outs are disturbing, but won't hurt the ratings: watching trainwrecks has long been a popular pursuit.

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Sue Smith is a comedic actor and writer in New York City. Sue has written and starred in tons of videos, including "Your Vagina Can Save the World," and "Juggalos: Are They a Gang?" Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, xoJane, Brokelyn, VICE and other, less trendy, publications. You can find her on Linkedin of follow her on Twitter.