The producer of History Channel’s latest TV Series “American Jungle” has responded to the allegations made by the Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources.
TJaye Forsythe posted the following on Facebook tonight:
I can no longer be silent. I’ve been informed that the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has made a statement regarding the show “American Jungle”. The press release alleges that the show is “inaccurate, offensive, and in some cases, potentially illegal”.
Let me get straight to the point of being “inaccurate.” This is a television show not a documentary. Television shows have fictional and non-fictional elements to them. “American Jungle” was considered more of a reality show because these are not actors and they are not reading from a script. If the show was meant to be an accurate depiction of hunting in Hawaii, we would have created a documentary. If the DLNR believes that the show is “inaccurate” then I believe they’ve answered their own question about “American Jungle” just being a television show. Like the show Hawaii 5-0, I don’t believe this is how police procedures are done in the State of Hawaii because I know it’s just a show.
Second, what is “offensive” is that DLNR has made a press release placing false allegations on A&E and History Channel without making any contact with the network. I have been informed by the network that no one from the DLNR had contacted them prior to making the press release to clear up any inaccurate or illegal issues. DLNR claims that “filming may have occurred on private land, the maps depicted in the show clearly demark areas that are under DLNR’s jurisdiction.” DLNR decides to use the animated map on the television show and claims it clearly marks the areas they believed were used in filming. For those who have watched the show, it is obvious that this animated map is not drawn to scale and has no ratio measurements to pinpoint the exact locations. DLNR’s use of the animated map from the television show indicates the extent of their investigation. DLNR did not contact the network to clear the private and public land issue. Instead, they chose to use an animated map from the television show. A quick call to the network would have clarified that it was private land.
Third, since the filming is on private land, does DLNR now feel that they are going to begin regulating what can be done on private land? Their concern was that there may have been illegal hunting at night. Was DLNR on site during filming to see the time the hunt took place and if the pig was alive? Again, this is a television show, and no one from the network was contacted by DLNR to clarify if any illegal activity took place. In fact, Governor Neil Abercrombie stated, “If we discover any laws or regulations have been broken we will vigorously pursue legal and/or criminal charges.” Is this a witch hunt? How can you discover if any laws were broken when you do not contact the network and decide to do your own investigation by watching an edited television show?
Finally, and most importantly, DLNR states that the “series depicts ‘clans’ that are fighting over access trails to territorial hunting grounds that inaccurately portray restrictive access to Hawaii’s public lands, which are held in public trust for the people.” DLNR continues by stating that “the cultural insensitivity of the series is also a concern.”
But I believe the biggest and most important issue of “territorial hunting grounds” is DLNR’s plan to ban hunting within 4,800 acres of public forest located south of Hilo. This DLNR “land grab” is the biggest territory war that the hunters of the Big Island have ever faced. This “land grab” calls for installing 17 miles of fencing to keep pigs, goats and sheep out and will extend almost to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park boundary. The area would be closed to hunting as DLNR’s way of protecting the ecosystem from invasive species. If the land is truly held in the “public trust for the people” why are you taking away these hunters rights to gather on land that has been providing food for their families for generations? You are taking away these hunting grounds like a “thief in the night.” You claim that you are concerned about “cultural insensitivity”. Where is your cultural sensitivity to these hunters as you threaten the local culture by targeting one of its traditional food sources?
DLNR is a bully taking away rights, threatening cultural livelihood and even trying to censor what can be shown on television. To this I say, long live “American Jungle” for exposing the land grab issues DLNR was trying to hide and showing how hostile Hawaii is towards the filming industry.
If I had known “American Jungle” would have received this much attention from the DLNR, I would have made an accurate documentary showing the “inaccurate, offensive, and in some cases, potentially illegal” land grab issue that threatens these Big Island hunter’s way of life. This documentary would have exposed the DLNR’s land grab as the largest territory war that hunters of the Big Island have ever faced.
Filed under: Announcements, Big Island, Entertainment, Environment, Hawaii, Legal, State Affairs, Television Tagged: | American Jungle, American Jungle Scandal, Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources, History Channel, Illegal Hunting in Hawaii, TJaye Forsythe