Beliefnet
February 12, 2004

Mr. Leslie Moonves, President
CBS Television
Television City
7800 West Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Dear Sir,
It was brought to our attention that you are proposing a TV Reality Series, "Amish and the City", in which you are proposing to expose some Amish teenagers to television and other modern conveniences and film their reactions to exposure to the modern society. You are proposing to air this TV series later this summer.

Our religion is very sacred and precious to us. We are very concerned and very much opposed to having the Amish used as subject material for any movie or television production. The Amish wish to live a quiet and peaceful life and do not appreciate the added attention and unwanted publicity this TV series will bring to the Amish Communities.

We are also very concerned that you will be misleading the public and misrepresenting the Amish by exploiting a small and highly atypical group of Amish teenagers who participate in the questionable activities, portrayed as "rumspringas", misrepresented as part of a religious rite of passage to test their faith. Portraying these questionable activities as the norm for Amish teenagers would most certainly be misleading the public by misrepresenting and denigrating the Amish.

The majority of Amish youth does not participate in these questionable activities but respect their parents and follow the teaching of the church. Many of these youth do become church members soon after age 16.

As representatives of the various Amish Communities, we strongly plea that you respect the Amish and not use the Amish or their religion and culture as subject material for any movie or television production.

We consider this a serious infringement on our privacy. We plea that you give serious consideration to this matter and respect the Amish by discontinuing your plans to air this offensive and potentially misleading and denigrating TV series.

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