The premise of this show is genius. A wild, rugged-looking family of nine, with wolverine like beards and seemingly no knowledge whatsoever of the outside world, plan to move to a remote area in Alaska. That way, no one can tell them what to do or how to do it.
We’re all up for living off-grid, but unfortunately, this show is far from that. Instead, the Brown family members live in hotels, take trips to Hawaii, and pay actors to go along with their embarrassing storyline. Honestly, there are so many reasons why this show should be canceled, but here are the main ones.
The show is based on their life in the Alaskan wilderness, so for fans to discover that the family had fraudulently claimed to be permanent residents was seriously outrageous. It was revealed that between the years of 2010 and 2013, the Brown family had tricked the state into paying them permanent fund division checks.
PDF checks are “an annual payment given to Alaskan residents from earnings of mineral royalties,” and to qualify, you need to have lived there for at least one year. Billy Brown was able to slyly collect $7,956 to his bank account until a petition surfaced in 2016 demanding that he return the money and the show be taken off the air. It’s crazy to think they couldn’t even last a year in the place.
The Browns proclaim to be this off-grid, “we’re leaving society to live at the end of the world” sort of family, and the land they decide to build their home on is supposedly in the “deep bush.” That would be a pretty impressive and intriguing move, if only it were true.
According to The Alaska Dispatch News, the Brown family are pretty close to civilization, and their house is totally “accessible from a dirt road just off the highway.” Moreover, if they’re ever in a mood to eat something other than what they claim to hunt, there’s a pizza parlor called Grizzly Pizza only half a mile away from them. A local news reporter accurately concluded that “While many parts in Alaska are wild, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re living in the wilderness.”
We can’t blame the Brown family for wanting a bit of comfort; after all, the wilderness is a challenging environment. But, wait, isn’t that what this show is all about? Well apparently, when the cameras stopped rolling in “Browntown,” the family tip-toed their way across to a nearby hotel called the “Icy Strait Lodge.”
Tiptoeing is actually the wrong term; they comfortably flew over by float planes. Locals from the area claim that each Brown son had his own room, and that they spent their evenings in local bars hitting on girls. They didn’t even show the slightest worry about being caught or blamed for being imposters. Seems like the treacherous outdoors have never been cozier.
While viewers were being shown the Brown’s eccentric and off-grid life, their neighbors were experiencing something totally different. The constant noise of production helicopters and people from the crew irritated them to the point where one neighbor by the name of Jason Hoke actually shot some fireworks at one of the passing helicopters.
It wasn’t only the noise that bothered them, but the fact that it actually shook the whole area and made it impossible to continue their regular routine. The Browns have since moved to Loomis, Washington, but even there, locals feel upset by all the strangers running around the area.
In the first few seasons, the Alaskan Bush people proudly mentioned that they didn’t know how to use an iPhone and could barely pronounce Jay-Z’s name. They had no recognition of who Kim Kardashian was and were completely clueless about anything modern and technological.
So, fans found it quite interesting to discover that before the show aired, Billy Brown had his own website, in order to promote his book, and it looked like it was designed by someone who knows their way around a computer. He could have paid someone else to do it obviously, but there’s a lot more evidence proving that this family is far from being disconnected.
These allegations took fans completely by surprise. In February 2020, Raiven Adams, Bear Brown’s ex-fiancée, filed a restraining order against him, and her accusations were so harsh that many fans began questioning whether the show should go on. Adams claimed that he had lost his mind around her to the point where he would yell, slam things, and prevent her from leaving the room.
She added that he would manipulatively withhold food and money from her and threaten to bury her with lawsuits if she dared to speak out about their fights. Adams was pregnant when she came out with these allegations, which caused even more concern among the show’s followers. Some fans reacted with disbelief, writing that “All of them are amazing and no way they would hit, or hurt anyone.” Others thought differently, “Just watching this show, you can tell this dude isn’t right.”
You’d think living out in the wild wouldn’t leave you much time to get arrested for drunk driving. But Matt Brown proved he could do both! In August 2013, he borrowed a local woman’s car to grab some food at the megastore, where he accidently hit a parked motorcycle.
The police officer on scene mentioned that Matt was “acting weird and smelled like a homeless person.” A breathalyzer test showed he had consumed twice the legal amount allowed in Alaska. He was sent to three days in jail and 18 months’ probation, followed by 35 days in rehab. When Matt spoke up about his drinking problem, he admitted that those long days in rehab have helped him grow into a better person.
There’s nothing as emotional as the long-waited encounter between a father and his estranged daughter. Lucky for us, Season Five provided just that, and when Billy reconnected with his long-lost daughter from a previous marriage, fans were incredibly moved. Billy mentioned that his ex-wife had simply thrown him out of their lives and since then he hadn’t been able to contact the girls.
The production took this as an amazing opportunity to fly one of his daughters, Twila Byars, all the way to Browntown to meet him. A brilliant move. Except that the story Billy had sold us wasn’t accurate, and social media revealed that they had actually been in touch over the years, and that the girls were well aware of their father’s existence. Sadly, this isn’t shocking.
This is both sad and funny and a bit frustrating. Between Seasons Four and Five, the Brown family commuted to California where Noah supposedly hit it off with a girl named Karyna L. Kauffman. On his return to “Browntown,” he felt compelled to see her again and invited her to join him in the bush.
She agreed, and the date was filmed. It was cringy in and of itself because Noah spent most of the time discussing his ex-girlfriend and even played the poor girl a song about the breakup. But it became even more hard to watch after fans discovered that Kaufmann was actually a paid actress. Don’t believe us? Check her Facebook and IMDB page.
The whole reason that the Brown family moved away from civilization and into the deep bushes of Alaska was because they had lost their previous cabin to a fire. Who started the fire? Hard to tell because there are far too many versions to the story. Version number one is a tale about how the government burned it down because it was located on public land.
Version number two, according to Billy, was that the fire was completely accidental. Version number three is Billy being completely agnostic to the whole ordeal claiming that, “My cabin burned, and I wasn’t at home. That’s all I can say.” As of now, there’s no proof that the government was responsible, but the accidental version seems just as fishy.
Many fictional shows and films are inspired by books, but a reality? That’s new, but that’s exactly what happened with the Alaskan Bush family. In 2007, Billy Brown published his book “One Wave at a Time,” which tells the story of a family trying to survive the harsh wilderness of Alaska.
In order to turn this book into a movie or a TV show, the family ventured off in an attempt to recreate the experiences described in the book. The family never believed their book would turn out to be 12 seasons long. But hey, with enough editing and mediocre acting, it seems like anything is possible.
It doesn’t get creepier than this. Billy was 26 when he married, brace yourselves, 15-year-old Ami. The two met after Billy was hired to do some plumbing work for her parents, Earlene and Les, and in order to receive their consent at the time, he lied about his age. The parents claim that he blinded them with his wealth and that he sweet-talked his way into the family.
After the wedding, Billy took off with Ami and her parents have barely seen her since. This might sound like some romantic gesture stemming from a love that knows no boundaries… except for the disturbing age gap and the fact that he shamelessly lied.
You would think that a family pretending to live out in the wilderness would be a little more covert about their getaway to Hawaii. But no. Instead, they decided to take pictures with fans and post it all on social media. But let’s backtrack a bit. Mom Ami was supposed to reunite with her mom, Earlene, after 37 years, but the reunion never happened, because the family flew out to Maui instead.
It’s hard to believe they would duck out of such an emotional meeting, considering that Earlene’s intentions were to see her daughter one last time before she passed away. This left fans heartbroken, but not for long, because they soon discovered that Ami and her mom had been in touch throughout the years and the whole thing was a publicity stunt. Earlene knew perfectly well that the family wasn’t in Alaska.
Reality shows will do a lot to create engaging moments and attract more viewers, but this move by the producers was simply too dishonest. Christina O’Malley, a young woman who signed up for the dating website, Alaskamen.com, was contacted by the crew who slyly mentioned that they wanted to cast her in a dating show.
They arranged a phone call between her and Gabe Brown which she believed was a step into the next stage of the show. To her surprise, she didn’t “pass to the next stage,” but eventually saw her conversation on TV with a still image of her on screen. The Alaskan Bush people have taken it a bit too far.
Billy Brown understood that in order to live off-grid, he needed to bring in animals to provide steady, helpful resources for the family. This is when Sabrina the cow came into the picture and, of course, production made a whole parade out of the event. The show made it seem like getting Sabrina into their remote land was a hard and grueling ordeal, but in reality? Not so much.
Sabrina was actually transferred directly to the Brown’s property, accompanied by Jan, the daughter of the owner of the Edelweiss Dairy. Jan stayed with the family for a while to teach them how to care properly for Sabrina, and once they stopped filming, Sabrina was adopted by an Alaskan local family.
With countless embarrassing allegations surrounding this family, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the people of Alaska dislike them. Imagine seeing your home state being portrayed in such a misrepresenting and humiliating way, you would probably do anything to take this show down.
Alaskans make sure to expose this show’s wrongdoing in every possible way – through comments on social media, articles and even reports shown on the news. If the Brown family accurately represented life in the bush, we would assume the locals would be the first to gloat over their home state being represented, but as you can see, this isn’t the case.
If you’ve read this far, then this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Here’s another example of how the Brown family brilliantly acted out the clueless, non-tech-savvy persona on screen. Before the show aired, Joshua “Bam Bam” Brown opened his own YouTube channel where he essentially vlogged and showed off his body.
But shortly before they began shooting the show, Bam Bam let his online community know he wouldn’t be able to upload anymore because of his father’s book tour. This is understandable, given that this book tour required him to pretend he had no idea how to use technology. He isn’t the only Brown member with a YouTube channel. Gabe, Snow and Rain all have ones as well.
Before creating “Browntown,” the family claimed that they were living in a one room cabin that was burned down by the government. That’s what supposedly drove them all the way to Hoonah to build a new place where they could live as wildly as they pleased.
But in 2011, Ami was diagnosed with lung cancer and the family had to move to California so she could be treated properly. Thankfully, in 2018 she stated she was cancer free. But Season 8 of this show was no longer filmed in Alaska, meaning that the purpose and literal title of this show doesn’t make sense anymore.
While his family was in California for Ami’s treatments, Matt Brown was alone in Browntown and severely injured himself while attempting to create bear deterrent. Apparently, the bears in the area started acting out and made frequent appearances in Browntown so Matt decided to protect himself. But overwhelmed by panic, he took it a little too far.
The explosion resulted in a terrible head injury and the paramedics feared he had fractured his skull. He was properly treated and came out alive, but it could have easily spiraled into tragedy. Clearly, his mother’s situation and his past alcohol addiction weighed heavily on him, and such life-risking behaviors are seriously concerning.
Who knew that one of the Alaskan Bush people could fall for a city girl and even claim that she “stirred something inside me and made my soul wake up”? Joshua “Bam” Brown, the second oldest brother of seven siblings, revealed he had fallen for a former producer of the show, Allison Kagan, and the two have plans to live on a boat.
He’s apparently had enough of the remote cabin and is working hard to renovate the 100- foot ferry he named “Fathom This!” In the meantime, the couple is residing in Washington where the family relocated after his mom, Ami, was diagnosed with lung cancer. Well, if no one’s living in the wilderness then seriously, there’s no need to keep this show going.
Having your own fanbase can come in handy when you’re trying to save up for big life events like your honeymoon. So, when Noah Brown and Rhain got married in 2018, they immediately opened a funding page on Facebook to gather up some money from their devoted followers. It read, “Help us enjoy our honeymoon in Montana! We have never needed a lot, but these few things would go a long way.”
There’s nothing wrong about being a little straightforward. But fans were disappointed when they realized that there was a minimum amount to deposit and additional handling fees. Basically, not everyone could send their love to the newlyweds. You had to throw in at least two dollars.
Rhain and Noah Brown saw their wedding as another way to connect with their fans, and in addition to collecting money on Facebook for their honeymoon, they decided to generously throw together a meetup. They described the event as “an informal gathering of anybody wishing to come and be part of our wedding story.”
They were expecting a huge crowd to arrive, but the fan event didn’t go as planned. A source who attended it sadly admitted that the couple didn’t realize that “they only have a few die-hard fans. Most of the residents don’t want them here.” Ouch.
Changing your name isn’t that weird, and many people feel that they would be better off being called something else. But changing your name to your sister-in-law’s is a pretty strange thing to do, even if it’s spelled a bit differently. In 2017, a year before Rhain married Noah, she legally changed her name from “Ruth” to “Rhain.”
For those who don’t know, the youngest Brown daughter is named Rain, and even though Noah’s girl added an “h,” it’s still pretty creepy. Rhain’s mother claims it has nothing to do with the sister-in-law and that her daughter knew for years that she didn’t want to be called Ruth. Apparently, the name Rhain was well in her mind before she ever met the Browns.
Reality shows usually thrive off of sibling drama, but this fight was probably a little too much for the Browns. In March 2019, Noah and his wife Rhain decided to leave the rest of the family and “not on good terms.” Sources claim that Rhain got into a fight with Noah’s younger sister, Snowbird.
The two clearly don’t see eye to eye and haven’t been able to mend their differences in a respectable way. Snowbird claims she’s always wanted a sister, but Noah’s girl has a personality she just can’t get along with. We personally think that the family would do better without cameras documenting this intense sisterly drama.
This reason is seriously concerning. Both parents, Ami and Billy, dealt with some health scares these past few years. Mom Ami was diagnosed in 2017 with advanced lung cancer, which she has thankfully recovered from. And Dad Billy unfortunately passed away on February 8, 2021, only 68 at the time of his death. Bear wrote on his Instagram, “We are heartbroken to announce that our beloved patriarch Billy Brown passed away last night after suffering from a seizure.”
“We plan to honor his legacy going forward, and to continue with his dream. We ask for privacy and prayers during this painful time! God bless everyone!” he added.
A Discovery rep offered his condolences and wrote on Twitter: “We are devastated to hear of Billy Brown’s sudden passing. He has been part of the Discovery family for years — a trailblazer, a lovely man, and most definitely one of a kind. Our heart is with his family and those that knew him and loved him as they deal with this devastating loss.”
The Alaskan Bush people like to exaggerate how terribly exposed they are to all sorts of dangers, whether it be wild animals or treacherous climate, or even life-threatening neighbors. The shootings you hear in some of the episodes are depicted as exactly that, angry people living nearby who have it out for them.
This is only partly true. The neighbors were truly upset, but they weren’t shooting bullets at the Browns, they were actually firing fireworks to get the helicopters to stop flying above their houses. Neighbors claimed that the noises startled the children and the wind caused by the propellors violently rocked their homes.
The Brown family claim to own this remote piece of Alaskan Wilderness which they have named “Browntown.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth; they don’t actually own the land. In fact, it’s quite impossible to lease public land, according to Tim, a worker for the US forest service.
What the Browns have is a little cabin they were able to build after getting a special permit allowing them to situate themselves there. Once the permit is up, they’ll need to return their construction equipment, so basically, they don’t own any land, but they’re renting out a part of the area which belongs to the mayor of Hoonah.
If the first few seasons were able to excite and even surprise viewers, the last ones are dull, predictable, and obviously scripted. We are no longer drawn by the wild dangers looming around and the dramas of possible construction injuries. Quite frankly, it’s repetitive, and thus, boring.
It’s hard to imagine what more could be added to this show’s resume, when it seems like they have exhausted every possible scenario. Either they’ll continue to build more villages, meet more estranged family members, or get into more fights with the world around them. We’re seeing a pattern here.
When the Alaskan Bush People first aired on the Discovery Channel in 2014, people were still quite unsure what to make of it. But it didn’t take long for it to gain in popularity and every season brought with it more viewers. But the ship is slowly sinking.
Season Eight’s premiere had 3.4 million people tuning in, but Season Nine had only 1.8 million views. The reason for the decline? Well, besides all the ridiculous debunking they suffered throughout the years, the Alaskan Bush People don’t live in Alaska anymore. Simple as that, they have nothing more to offer their viewers.
Looking to read about another highly controversial reality show? Check our article about the TV show called “The Real World” running on the MTV network since 1992.