“We’re only eight blocks wide. They had approached almost every Amish-owned business in the village asking if they could film. They were turned down by all but two businesses,” said Sherry Gore, a nationally known cookbook author in Pinecraft and who had an appearance in a rival production company’s documentary “Amish: Out of Order” on National Geographic.
Among the businesses that allowed filming are Alma Sue’s Quilts and Der Dutchman restaurant, which gave the OK from a corporate level. When dealing with “reality” shows, producers can suggest situations to participants that may detract from reality. Local management made sure they wouldn’t participate in those scenarious, including one scene when management was asked to not hire an employee because they were not Amish or Mennonite. (Several members of the staff aren’t Amish or Mennonite anyway.)
While in Ohio recently the second-biggest topic of conversation (after the Sam Mullet verdict) was the recent heavy portrayal of Amish on TV. Paraphrasing one Amish friend’s thoughts, “it used to be ‘sex and violence’, and now it’s ‘sex, violence, and Amish’”.
We had a long discussion about why his people are getting so much attention in the media today. There’s more than one answer to that question, but in the case of these shows, the “titillation factor”, as he suggests, probably has much to do with it.