As with any reality TV show, the first question fans ask is, how real is the show? Alaskan Bush People is no exception. Based on a family of nine living off the land together, it’s no wonder people are skeptical. Spending time in a big family with no distractions or immediate escape? It’s enough to drive most people mad. But then again, the Browns aren’t like most people.
Since the beginning of the show, parents Billy and Ami Brown always expressed they wanted very little out of life—just to live in a place of their own where they can enjoy nature and spend time with their kids. Together, they raised five boys and two girls, ranging from ages 16 to 36. With such a big age gap, you’d think that the family would constantly be at each other’s throats, but as time would tell, very little could come between the siblings’ strong bonds. And that, in large part, is thanks to the environment in which “ma” and “da” raised them.
However, as information and rumors developed behind the scenes, fans began to wonder just how authentic the Browns were off-camera. From sexual assault allegations to paid actresses, the show started to feel less-than-real for many viewers. One of the biggest suspicions about Alaskan Bush People revolved around the family’s changes in location.
‘Alaskan Bush People’ Become Washington Mountain People
In 2017, wife and mother, Ami Brown, received news that she had Stage 3 lung cancer, and doctors told the family that it would be extremely dangerous to her health if they continued to live off the grid. She needed to receive regular chemotherapy treatment. So, without any hesitation, the family uprooted from their “piece of paradise” in the Alaskan wilderness to Los Angeles, California, where Ami received treatment at the UCLA Medical Center. During Ami’s aggressive fight against the illness, the family stayed in a mansion in the city. Once in remission, the Alaskan Bush People moved to a 400-acre homestead in Tonasket, Washington. However, some fans found the change too convenient and accused the show of fabricating Ami’s illness.
But Discovery executive vice President Laurie Goldberg shut down those claims quickly.
“It is just disgusting that anyone would say her cancer is not real or that it was created for the show,” Goldberg told Radar Online. “Ami’s battle with cancer is very real. Her chemo and radiation was tough, but she got through it and is recovering well.”
Following the wildfire that consumed most of their mountainside property in 2020, fans were sure the family would move permanently to California.
Home For the Browns Is Still Washington State
The Browns also faced another tragedy after moving from their Alaskan home. In February this year, 68-year-old Billy Brown passed away from a seizure. Still, the majority of the family stayed together through the hardship. This excludes the oldest son, Matt Brown, who permanently moved to California to attend rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. Although the family still owns their mansion in Beverly Glen, Ca., the remaining Alaskan Bush People claim they prefer to live on their property in Washington.