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UPN Rejects Rep. Pitts' Request to Have Experts Preview Amish Show

Location: Washington, DC

UPN Rejects Rep. Pitts' Request to Have Experts Preview Amish Show

Network turns down offer of "private dialogue over show's content"

Washington-Congressman Joe Pitts (R, PA-16) today lamented UPN's decision to reject his request to prescreen
"Amish in the City," the network's soon-to-be-released reality show. Congressman Pitts had hoped to invite Amish experts and other lawmakers to privately view the show and provide feedback on the depiction of the Amish community.

"I'm greatly disappointed yet again by UPN's decision. I had hoped that a prescreening of Amish in the City might offer us a chance to bring UPN and Amish experts together for a private dialogue over the show's content. Apparently, UPN feels it knows better than the experts.

"Ultimately, the quality of the program is beside the point. The Amish firmly believe that television itself violates the Ten Commandments' ban on graven images. Paying Amish kids to violate that belief is wrong. If you're selling a show based on its participants' religious identity, shouldn't you respect the religious beliefs and those of their families?
"Would you have a program that is sold as depicting Muslim life or Christian life or Jewish yet violates a central tenet of those religions? I don't think so. I hope that UPN's affiliates and potential advertisers will realize this and think twice before airing this show or lending their names to it.

"Additionally, the show is also based on a flawed understanding rumspringa. UPN's suggestion that it's okay for Amish youth to violate their beliefs during rumspringa proves that they have no understanding of the Amish religion.

Or maybe they just don't care. Rumspringa is a time when Amish youth decide whether to join the church as an adult, not a free pass to violate all of the values they were raised in. According to UPN's logic, it would be okay for Baptists kids to violate all the rules of their faith because they're not baptized until they're adults. That's ridiculous," said Congressman Pitts.

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