The Truth About Where Alaskan Bush People Is Really Filmed

The Discovery Channel's Alaskan Bush People depicts the Brown family, with their seven children, living a natural life, in harmony with the wilderness. The show captures moments of rural privacy where the cast runs free in what essentially looks like the playground of Alaska. Sounds heavenly!

Not only that, the show boasts a lifestyle that many city-dwellers could only dream of. The Brown family soaks up brisk, Alaskan air, rides their boat on clean water, watches wildlife running around, while they get creative, eating what nature provides. At least, this is the impression carefully curated by the show's producers.

By now, viewers know reality TV isn't always as "real" as the name suggests. So why are we so surprised to find out that Alaskan Bush People isn't as honest as it would initially appear? Maybe it's because the show lacks the pretension, plastic surgery and big bucks that many other current reality shows offer. Because Alaskan Bush People is more gritty, we figured it would be a lot more honest.

Unfortunately, this isn't exactly the case. While some things shown on camera are sincere, the show's location is actually one of the more deceitful factors. Curious to find out where Alaskan Bush People is really filmed? Read on.

The Brown family might not really live in Alaska

While Alaskan Bush People sets up the idea that the Brown family lives out in the boonies, it turns out this isn't true. According to In Touch, the family claims to live in isolation. However, while the show films the family living in the "bush," the Browns actually live in a cushy lodge near the film site. Sheesh!

Not only that, but as the Browns boast about their extreme isolation, they actually lived close enough to order pizza, according to Anchorage Daily News. The Browns also had neighbors, one of whom shot fireworks at a helicopter used for filming that was flying over their property and making too much noise. This doesn't exactly sound rural.

When the matriarch, Ami, got diagnosed with cancer, she had to go to Los Angeles for treatment, so many family members moved down to California for a time to support her, according to TV Insider.

The Brown family have filmed all over the place, particularly Washington state, according to a later article by In Touch

Billy and Ami Brown might have tipped fans off when they boasted about their travelling lifestyle, saying that they've spent nearly 40 Christmases in 40 different places, per In Touch. Maybe they never planned on staying in Alaska for very long.

Billy and Bam Bam Brown avoided jail after they stole from the government

When critics complained the show was fake, Billy Brown fought back. "What can you say to people like that?" Billy told Radar Online in 2015. "We call them 'bobs in the basement.' That's just what we call the people who sit behind the computers and don't have a life. I actually feel sorry for those people when they don't have anything else to do."

However, the government might beg to differ. According to another report by Radar Online, Billy and Josh "Bam Bam" Brown were sentenced to 30 days in jail in 2016 as part of their plea deal for swindling thousands from the Alaskan government. While the men were ultimately allowed to serve their sentences via electronic monitoring, the Department of Corrections noted the men couldn't harbor weapons or alcohol, and were required to have a working landline, effectively pausing their time as "bush" people.

Court records show that the Browns falsified claims they were Alaskan residents to obtain dividend checks from the government, which totaled $27,000 over four years. But, as the Anchorage Daily News highlighted, Alaskan residents can receive a permanent fund dividend check if they've lived in the state for at least one calendar year and they can leave the state for up to 180 days. This situation further calls the family's legitimacy into question, as their trouble indicates that they spend less than half the year in Alaska's wilderness.

The Brown's neighbors don't appreciate how they've impacted the location

Although Alaskan Bush People claims to take place in the infamous Alaskan wilderness, the Browns film near the Copper River basin which, as the Anchorage Daily News reported, "isn't Manhattan, but it's not the middle of nowhere, either." Although the show offered "a sense of economic stimulus," the town did not welcome the Discovery crew. "Some people were very upset about them, didn't want them filming them, didn't want them around, didn't like the way they were portraying the community," Billy Williams, owner of Grizzly Pizza, told the newspaper.

"Ninety-five percent of the people pretty much saw the farce there," Matt Lorenz, editor and publisher of the Copper River Record, explained. "I compare it to wrestling, professional wrestling, as far as reality TV goes. There's always some people in the audience that really think it's real."

During one episode, there were even reports that someone fired shots at the Browns' cabin because they were angry about the camera crew. "Did the authorities get involved? Was there an investigation?" Ryan Berenz wrote for Channel Guide. "Look, I know law enforcement is probably pretty stretched in these parts, but I think death threats and someone shooting at you is probably enough to get a visit from Alaska State the very least."

However, Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters said no one ever contacted them about such an incident. Could this be another lie the Browns cooked up for higher ratings?