Breaking Amish: The Shunning Truth answered some questions about the cast of TLCs Breaking Amish, but some questions were flatly—and angrily--sidestepped.
It’s hard to believe that Abe, Rebecca, Jeremiah and Kate were ever Amish (Sabrina, of course, was Mennonite, so why she was brought into this, who knows). It was hard to believe that when they were on the show, as well. Just the way they carried themselves, the language they used, and the ease with which they seemed to take to life outside their Amish worlds, all seemed to point to a cast who had spent significant time in the "English" world.
Newly on the outside or not, the cast had various reasons as to why they decided to be on the show. According to Abe, his reason for being on the show was to educate the audience about the Amish. “I think people should know the truth about the Amish, that they’re not these perfect Christian people like everybody’s saying,” he said.
Did he accomplish that, or did he just convince people that there was no way he was living Amish when he began the show? Jeremiah was definitely accused of not living Amish before the show began, and told the interviewer, Michelle Beadle, “I grew up Amish, and I had actually joined the Amish church at 16. I did leave multiple times and went back. Growing up Amish, I’m always going to be Amish, it doesn’t matter how I dress.”
But, is that really the premise of the show, or what viewers were led to believe, that these people were Amish because they had grown up that way, but perhaps not so much practicing Amish? According to the TLC description of the show:
Breaking Amish, premiering Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10|9c, provides a never-before-seen look inside the lives of young men and women as they, for the first time, trade horse and buggy with taxi cabs to break out from their respective Amish/Mennonite communities in their pursuit to chase big dreams in the Big Apple. The groundbreaking series features nine hour-long episodes.
For the first time?
Some Questions Answered
Another question people have wondered throughout the show: Who was paying for their extravagance in New York City? According to the group, they made the money that they were seen spending on the show—another thing that is hard to believe. What did they get paid by TLC? Who knows. But, it is hard to believe that all of the cash they had flowing during taping was out of their own pockets, regardless.
A lot of admissions were made on Part II of the reunion episode. Sabrina is in the process of getting a divorce; Jeremiah has three children (3, 5, 7), although he denies ever being abusive to his wife, and also said that he is now paying child support, and did admit he had not paid it in the past; Abe admitted that he had been arrested when he was 18 for underage drinking; and Rebecca clarified that her teeth were pulled in her teens because they were bad and hurt, not because she was being punished, as some rumors speculated. These questions were answered without incident. However, when the discussion turned to Abe and Rebecca’s relationship, Beadle found herself going in circles with the increasingly angry couple.
Who IS the Father?
The world knows now that Rebecca does have a daughter; they just do not know for certain who the father of that daughter is. And, although they insisted that they had not lived together before the show was filmed, they would not address a photo of Rebecca and Abe—looking much younger—holding Rebecca’s daughter. As they were pressed on their pre-show relationship status, the couple just referred viewers to the show, getting more and more angry as they discussed the topic, particularly when Beadle brought the baby into the mix. “Stop talking about the baby before I get angry,” Abe said when asked directly if he was the baby’s father. “Do you understand English?” he demanded with a mixture of anger and condescension.
Interestingly, time after time, Abe referred to the baby as, “her baby” or “Rebecca’s daughter,” never, “our baby” or “our daughter.”
Just an observation.
Abe actually did confirm—but never explained—that he did not know Rebecca was married, as depicted on the show, but said that he did know about the baby. Does that seem realistic? Rebecca finally indicated that there are legal issues involved regarding the baby that have kept her from talking about her. Based on that revelation alone, the likelihood that the baby is Abe’s seems, well, non-existent.
The cast seemed to be surprised that viewers were asking such intimate questions about them, and appeared especially taken aback at the negativity that has been streaming their way. It seems a bit naïve to think that they could get on national television and believe that their secrets would not be uncovered, or that there would be no negativity directed at them. But, that naiveté is not unusual, it seems, for reality stars in general, many of whom are thrown into a fishbowl they did not expect—apparently that is the case with these five.
Will there be a Season Two of Breaking Amish on TLC? If there is, will it be a continuation with Jeremiah, Sabrina, Kate, Abe and Rebecca, or will a new cast check out the big city lights? And, if it is the latter, will TLC actually get cast members who, yes, come straight from Amish life into the “English” world for the first time, as the show was originally described?
Video: TLC/Breaking Amish