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Why Some Alaskan Bush People Fans Want The Show Canceled

When Discovery channel docuseries Alaskan Bush People premiered in 2014, it was an instant hit. Fans loved following the unorthodox lives of Billy and Ami Brown and their children — Matt, Joshua "Bam Bam," Gabriel "Gabe," Solomon "Bear," Amora "Birdy," Merry Christmas "Rainy," and Noah – as they tried to make a go of it living off the grid in the wilderness of Alaska. Even when the family left Alaska for the lower 48 (Washington state, to be specific), viewers followed along, proving the Alaskan bush was only part of the draw.

That may, however, all be changing. In January 2020, the show finished airing its 11th season, and while there hasn't been an announcement about whether it will be renewed for a 12th, fans are already sounding off on their hopes for the future. Surprisingly, they're actually calling for Discovery to take Alaskan Bush People off the air. It seems that, after 11 seasons, some are done with the Brown family. What could make the show's loyal fans turn against it? There's a scandal that might be the end of this long-running series.

The shocking allegations against Alaskan Bush People's Bear Brown

In February 2020, reports surfaced that the ex-girlfriend of Bear Brown, Raiven Adams, had filed a restraining order against her former partner. Adams, who was pregnant at the time, alleges that Brown engaged in a number of abusive and harmful behaviors toward her. Among the claims are that Brown acted erratically around her, including "yelling, slamming things, and preventing me from leaving [the] room." She also says that he threatened her with retaliation, including withholding food and housing, as well as the threat that he would "have Discovery bury me [with] lawsuits" if she spoke out about the abuse, which she claims was spurred on by excessive cocaine use. When asked if there was a weapon involved, she indicated that there was, adding, "He would use it as intimidation [and] tell me gun laws don't apply to him."

Adams' mother backed up her daughter's claims in an Instagram post. Next to an image of her daughter's sonogram, she posted the caption: "Please pray for Raiven and baby. Stress can cause complications in pregnancy, which is why she's in preterm labor." It was followed by hashtags such as, "#dontpickonpregantladies," "#mentalabuseisstillabuse" and "#domesticviolenceawareness."

When a fan directly asked, "Are these hashtags implying the father of her baby was abusive?", she replied, "Yes he is."

After the allegations became public, Brown took to his private Instagram account to deny the claims against him, posting a selfie with the caption: "I DON'T DO DRUGS!"

What Alaskan Bush People fans had to say

When news of the allegations against Bear Brown surfaced, fans of the show took to social media to express their displeasure

One social media user said, "This show should be canceled if it [isn't] already." Another added, "The family [are] trouble and should not be on TV nasty #alaskanbushpeople." In a Facebook post, one fan pondered: "I'm wondering what this is going to do to the [...] show? I think this is going to do the show in... at least I hope so. Wonder what Ole Billy is saying about this whole mess."

At the time of writing, there was no official word on whether Discovery was planning on bringing the series back for a 12th season. However, there is speculation that, given the fact that there were storylines left unfinished at the end of season 11, Alaskan Bush People will likely come back for another season. 

Some Alaskan Bush People fans feel differently

It seems that the vast majority of Alaskan Bush People fans were shocked to hear reports of these allegations — but not all of them are left unsettled for the same reasons. Many fans have come to the defense of Bear Brown, writing on social media (via The Sun) that they can't believe the allegations and will continue to support Alaskan Bush People and the Brown family. 

"All of them are amazing and no way they would hit, or hurt anyone," one fan wrote. Others argued that "no way in hell has [Bear Brown] been anything but cordial and sweet" with Raiven Adams, and that "he values his mother and sisters way way way to much to ever be violent with a woman let alone one carrying his baby." That fan added, "Come on, now, people — get a grip."

Other Alaskan Bush People controversies

This isn't the first time the series has faced a scandal that led viewers to call for it to be taken off the air. In 2016,a Change.org petition calling for the show to be canceled collected several thousand signatures in response to revelations that the family had fraudulently claimed to be permanent residents of Alaska in order to collect permanent fund division (or PFD) checks from the state government. PFD checks are a result of the state's oil revenue, and are distributed to full-time residents.

According to a report by Juneau Empire, Billy Brown falsely claimed that he and his family had a permanent residence in the state and collected checks for himself and his children between the years of 2010 and 2013. In total, they received $7,956, which they were forced to pay back as part of a plea deal.

The organizers of the petition were appalled at the theft, and said it was enough to have Alaskan Bush People taken off the air. "The Browns are not a wholesome family with good values as they pretend to portray on the show," the petition read, "but a family with questionable ethics that should not be on television."

Fans will have to wait and see if Alaskan Bush People can once again live through scandal and find its way to a future on Discovery.