HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Leaders of a Hutterite colony in Montana are demanding an apology from the National Geographic Society for a television show they say misrepresented their way of life and poisoned public opinion of them.
King Ranch Colony minister John Hofer says "American Colony: Meet The Hutterites" was supposed to be a documentary about life within the German-speaking agricultural community of Protestants. Instead, he says, the producers turned it into a reality TV show that encouraged discord within the community.
National Geographic Channel CEO David Lyle says he is happy to meet with the Hutterite elders, but the show was an accurate and fair portrait of their life and an apology is unwarranted.
Hutterites have been compared to the Amish and Mennonites, but they live in commune-like colonies in the U.S. and Canada.