When the Brown family first made their debut on Alaskan Bush People back in 2014, fans thought they were an authentic off-the-grid family who shunned modern culture, hunted wild game, and built their cabin with their bare hands. But over time, many viewers started to suspect the show, like most reality TV, was fake. And in 2016, Alaskan locals revealed the family never lived “in the bush” full time and actually spent most of their days at a cushy lodge in between tapings, exposing the truth about them.
Last year when Ami Brown was diagnosed with lung cancer, the entire family left “the bush” and relocated to a mansion in California where Ami could get chemotherapy. Rain Brown would often post photos on her Instagram of herself hanging out at the property looking very far removed from her Alaskan TV roots. But earlier this year when it was announced that Ami’s cancer had gone into remission, the family was back on social media posting images of themselves in snowy surroundings, prompting fans to wonder if the Browns had relocated back to Alaska.
However, when Rain shared a photo on Instagram of a snowy mountain with the caption, “Just another day at the office,” she got a ton of criticism. “You mean the office where you act like you’re poor, live in the woods and know nothing of technology????” a fan wrote. “Love your family but it would make for much better TV if you guys were just your real selves. Especially since your mother got cancer due to smoking which isn’t ‘living off the land’. I know others will get mad but it’s the truth.”
But it didn’t stop there — the backlash kept coming. “I’m just curious why people would be interested in watching your show anymore,” wrote another commenter. “You guys are just like a regular family living in Washington with smartphones and laptops. I’m sure the die-hard fans would watch but the majority of viewers loved thinking you guys were real bush people. Now that is gone and I don’t think a few thousand die-hard fans is enough for Discovery to keep going with the show.” Others disagreed and defended the Browns by saying the “fakeness” of the show didn’t matter to them. “For me it was the family itself and how they are together,” a person chimed in on Instagram. “I personally do not care where they live and use technology because they are them no matter what.”
According to reports, the family isn’t even relocating back to Alaska. Facebook users tracked the Browns to Washington state where they’re filming for the new season. But many viewers think the TV family should just give up and stop “pretending” to be bush people. “I guess at this location they’ll be called ‘Bushless Ex-Alaskans’ or some dumba– nomadic name to get people to tune in,” a fan wrote on Facebook. “They are going to beat that ’30 yrs in the bush’ lie right to the end,” another one added.
When Rain uploaded a video of herself chopping wood with the caption, “Getting back in the swing of things,” fans got angry again. “Looks like all the months in sunny California and she forgot how to pretend to live in the bush,” a fan wrote on Facebook. “It is obvious she has never done that before even though she captioned it ‘getting back into the swing of things,'” another added.
However, one member of the Brown family wasn’t taking all the backlash well. Gabe Brown started defending his little sister Rain in her Instagram comments. When a fan attacked the 14-year-old star and called the show fake, Gabe fired off a response. “Why are you so hostel (sic)??” he wrote. “You may hide who you are from Instagram but God sees your face and knows your name how do you think you make him feel??” However, despite his rebuttal, other commenters weren’t satisfied. “Now come on Gabe, you know it’s not [real],” a fan wrote on Instagram. “If it’s real then why didn’t you own the land in Alaska, why did you stay at the Icy Strait Lodge, why did you all have YouTube channels trying to sell your dad’s book, why did you travel around the USA in an RV trying to sell your dad’s book… evidence, my dear Gabe. Evidence.”
And it didn’t stop there. Other fans jumped onto the anti-Brown wagon. “Why are you and you (sic) family keep lying,” a person wrote. “We all know that you didn’t live in Alaska for a very long time. We also know that brown town never belonged to you Family and never build the cabin… Since I found out that the show is 100 % fake my heart is broken even more so because I really believed that you Family is a Christian Family and that is even a bigger disappointment because a Christian Family wouldn’t lie like you Family does.”
With the exception of Gabe, the Browns appear to be ignoring the haters for now. However, when their show returns, they’re going to have to be faced with a lot of questions viewers want answered. And now with more attention on them than ever before, here’s hoping the family is prepared to face their toughest critics.