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HUTTERITES DEFY GAG ORDER AND DEMAND JUSTICE FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC | Hutterites

HUTTERITES DEFY GAG ORDER AND DEMAND JUSTICE FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Written by: Paul Wipf on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

August 7, 2012       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HUTTERITES DEFY GAG ORDER AND DEMAND JUSTICE FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

The Hutterites of King Ranch Colony in Montana, who were featured in the National Geographic Channel’s recent series, Meet The Hutterites, are speaking publicly for the first time despite a legal attempt by the show’s producer to prevent them from talking openly about the controversial television production.

Jeff Collins, the executive producer of Meet The Hutterites, insists that the people from King Ranch Colony love the show and that it is a factual representation of their lives.

Not true, according to Colony residents who are now coming forward with testimonies about being pressured and coerced into staging scenes to create drama intended to boost TV ratings. Scripted scenes and dialogue assigned to colony members have been rescued from the garbage, clear evidence that the episodes were staged.

Collins signed a contract with the Colony to make a documentary, but soon after production began, residents were told their lives were “too boring.” New, completely fabricated scenes were then staged and shot to create a reality TV program. Residents say the series does not reflect their daily lives, and misrepresents not only their community and its core values, but Hutterite culture in general.

Leaders of King Ranch Colony have asked to meet with David Lyle, CEO of the National Geographic Channel but Mr. Lyle has ignored them. Now, the Hutterites are taking their case to John Fahey, Chairman and CEO of the National Geographic Society, and to the Society’s Board of Trustees.

King Ranch leaders say the series is in serious breach of contract and they will settle for nothing less than a public apology from the National Geographic Society. They also are demanding that all 10 episodes of the series never again be aired or duplicated anywhere in any format at any time.

Documents are available at this link: http://societymatters.org/hutterites-media-packet/

– a copy of the original contract for the documentary
– a letter of demand from King Ranch to John Fahey and the Board of Directors                   – scripted dialogue and scenes rescued from the garbage
– 25 testimonies from colony members about their experience making Meet The Hutterites.

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