BBC & Travel Channel show ‘staged, false, fabricated and distorted’
A TV series about an Amazonian tribe has been slammed as ‘staged, false, fabricated and distorted’ by experts on the tribe.
‘Mark & Olly: Living with the Machigenga’ was shown on the Travel Channel in the US, and on the BBC last year. In the show Mark Anstice and Olly Steeds lived in a Matsigenka Indian village for several months to show the ‘reality’ of life among the tribe.
But now two experts on the tribe have gone public with a string of highly damaging accusations. Dr. Glenn Shepard is an anthropologist who has worked with the Matsigenka Indians for 25 years and speaks their language fluently. Ron Snell, the son of US missionaries, grew up with the tribe and and is also fluent in the Matsigenkas’ tongue.
Just some of Shepard’s accusations, published in the highly-respected journal Anthropology News, are:
• In order to present a ‘false and insulting’ portrayal of the tribe as sex-obsessed, mean and savage, many of the translations of what the Indians are saying are fabricated.
• Many events presented as real in the show must have been ‘staged’.
• A key scene in the show in which Olly is subjected to painful ant stings, since “according to Matsigenka tradition he must be cleansed” and “endure the ancient punishments” for buying deer meat is denounced by Shepard as ‘fabricated and [with] no basis in ethnography.’
Ron Snell, in an article on his blog, accused the film-makers of ‘paying the Machiguengas to perform for them, saying things the Machiguengas wouldn’t ordinarily say and doing things the Machiguengas wouldn’t normally do.’
After interviewing two of the Indians in the series, Snell reported, ‘Our suspicions were correct. They [Mark and Olly] entered the village on a well traveled path and only veered a few feet off the path to film themselves ‘hacking their way through the jungle.’ They contracted someone to make new cushmas [cotton tunics] so everyone would be wearing one. They staged the whole drama about one of the guys being accepted and the other treated as a lazy outsider…
‘The translator quickly became disillusioned with the whole thing, but kept going because of the money. He is ashamed and embarrassed that he had anything to do with it.’
The series was previously at the centre of a media storm when a scouting expedition for the show was accused in Peru of provoking a flu epidemic among isolated Indians which caused the deaths of four of them. The show was eventually filmed a short distance from this incident.
Cicada, the production company responsible for the series, has made no comment on the accusations.
Stephen Corry, Director of Survival, said, ‘‘Mark & Olly: Living with the Machigenga’ was a depressing example of the way tribal people are routinely portrayed on TV. One stereotype followed another, with the Matsigenka variously portrayed as callous, perverted, cruel, and savage. Is this what the film crew really thought of those whose guests they were? Broadcasters wouldn’t dare to make similarly false claims about other such minority groups: imagine the same descriptions applied to any ethnic minority in the industrialized world. Sadly this is all too common – TV is now getting away with portrayals which wouldn’t be out of place in the Victorian era.’
In response to a worrying trend to portray tribal peoples in a negative manner, Survival is drawing up a code of practice for documentary makers to follow when filming with them.
A background briefing with further examples of mistranslations and inaccuracies in the show is available to download here.
Note to Editors:
1. The tribe’s name is today usually spelt Matsigenka. Previously, Machiguenga was more common. Machigenga, as used in the Mark and Olly TV show, is incorrect.
2. Dr. Glenn Shepard is an ethnobotanist and medical anthropologist who specializes in the indigenous peoples of the Amazon. He has published more than 50 scientific papers and is currently a researcher in Indigenous Ethnology at the Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi in Belém, Brazil.
3. Ron Snell grew up with the Matsigenka, where his parents were missionaries. He is the author of several books about his childhood there, and still visits the area regularly. He is now the director of a homeless people’s shelter in Nebraska, USA. His mother, who has also watched the series and corroborates the accusations, is the author of a 900-page Matsigenka dictionary.
4. A longer version of Dr. Shepard’s article can be found on his blog: ethnoground.blogspot.com
- ‘Noble Savages’: Chagnon’s new book triggers resignation and protests (alethonews.wordpress.com)
4 Comments »
or go to
From the Archives
Liberals in Congress and in the general public have allowed their blind devotion to Obama obscure their understanding of the dramatic parallels between this administration and the previous one. Obama’s high-minded idealistic rhetoric (which Bush also engaged in, it should be pointed out) may sound great to establishment liberals, but it masks the same contempt for the rule of law that was displayed so often in the Bush imperial presidency. Now, Obama’s contempt for the Constitution is on display for all to see, although many will not like what they see. … continue
Aletho News Exclusive Content
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
March 8, 2011
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
- World Week of Peace 2016 September 24, 2016
- Continuing injustice: One year since extrajudicial execution of Hadeel al-Hashlamoun September 22, 2016
- Israeli forces continue annexation of ethnically cleansed Shuhada Street September 22, 2016
- thermite or no thermite? – the saga of the red-gray chips September 25, 2016
- Guardian sells space to war-profiteers to promote war September 24, 2016
- How “The Syrian Campaign” Faked Its “70% Fleeing Assad” Refugee Poll September 23, 2016
- FBI’s Fake ‘Investigation’ of Hillary’s Emails September 23, 2016
- Agriculture: Trade Wars and Food Wars. Obama and the Multi-Nationals September 19, 2016
Tags9/11 Afghanistan Africa AIPAC al-Qaeda Argentina BBC Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA Colombia Cuba Da’esh Donald Trump Egypt EU European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Gaza Germany Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Hillary Clinton Honduras Human rights India International Atomic Energy Agency International Solidarity Movement Iran Iraq Iraq War ISIL ISIS Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Mexico Middle East Military National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Police Press TV Qatar Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey UK Ukraine United Nations United States USA Venezuela Washington Post West Bank Yemen Zionism
Brian Harry, Austral… on Corbyn re-elected in landslide… Brian Harry, Austral… on How One Man Held off Nuclear… Greg Bacon on Guardian sells space to war-pr… traducteur on Corbyn re-elected in landslide… Unpogo on Pathetic Fail #2: Abby Ohlheis… RoHa on The “12 Commandments” of the I… Jerry "Peacemaker" on White Helmets Deceive “Right L… Brian Harry, Austral… on Your Time Is Up “Professor”… Brian Harry, Austral… on NYTimes & Zika: a brief ca… Brian Harry, Austral… on Facebook bans pro-Palestinian… Eddie Herbert on The “12 Commandments” of the I… Greg Bacon on White Helmets Deceive “Right L… euhuguenin on The “12 Commandments” of the I… roberthstiver on Israeli-Canadian Thought Polic… rediscover911com on French mayor wants to kick all…
Visits Since December 2009
- 2,703,436 hits
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
- Syria FM censures exploiting humanitarian sufferings of Syrians September 24, 2016
- Obama implicated in Clinton email scandal – New FBI docs September 24, 2016
- Hillary’s Secret ‘Ideas for Regime Change’ Program Gave Rise to Arab Spring September 24, 2016
- President al-Assad’s interview given to Associated Press September 24, 2016
- Guardian sells space to war-profiteers to promote war September 24, 2016
- Canadian firm sells Bahrain software to censor Internet September 24, 2016
- How One Man Held off Nuclear War September 24, 2016
- Corbyn re-elected in landslide win as Britain’s Labour leader September 24, 2016
- Russia Hopes Next US President to Push for Ratification of Nuclear Test Ban September 24, 2016
- Your Time Is Up “Professor” Wadhams September 23, 2016
- NYTimes & Zika: a brief case study on climate change hype September 23, 2016
- Facebook bans pro-Palestinian pages September 23, 2016
- Anti-Palestine Media Bias Remains Untouchable Even to Canada’s Media Critics September 23, 2016
- White Helmets Deceive “Right Livelihood” and CodePink September 23, 2016
- The US Attack near Deir ez-Zor as Seen from the Middle East September 23, 2016
- World War Two Was Not a Just War September 23, 2016
- French mayor wants to kick all terror list suspects out of town September 23, 2016
- Join the Movement for Community Control Over Police Surveillance September 23, 2016
Looking for something?
Categories"Hope and Change" Aletho News Book Review Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Militarism Nuclear Power Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting email@example.com.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.
Site infoAletho News
Blog at WordPress.com.