Few Old Believers turn out for National Geographic casting call

A Tuesday-night casting call for a National Geographic reality series about the Kenai Peninsula's Russian Old Believers drew only about a dozen people, reports the Homer Tribune, and not all of them were Old Believers. 


Word had gone out that even though it is the National Geographic Channel, the producers’ aim may be to sensationalize Old Believer lives as had been done with another religious group, the Hutterites of Montana. ...

According to Maryland-based journalist Alan Marison, publishing complaints made by the show’s treatment of the Hutterites, that’s exactly what lies ahead for the Russian Old Believers who agree to take part in any future show aired nationally and internationally. He wrote a public letter to the residents of Homer warning that the Hutterites have filed complaints over their treatment with National Geographic Channel President David Lyle. As yet, they have received no apology and no response. Producers staged scenes that embarrassed and gave false impressions of the Hutterites, Marison said.

The National Geographic team was planning to remain in the Homer area through the week. Its representatives would not respond to Homer Tribune requests for comment. Read more at the Tribune: National Geographic gets cold reception from Old Believers