Home Christian News Christian Influencers Say ‘Shiny Happy People’ Producers Lied About Docuseries

Christian Influencers Say ‘Shiny Happy People’ Producers Lied About Docuseries

“Integrity wasn’t a leading goal for the production team,” said Paul, who explained that he and Morgan initially had a great deal of caution about participating in the docuseries because of stories they heard from friends about the entertainment industry. However, the producers assured the couple they wanted to give a full picture of the situation, so the Olliges agreed. The couple said the production team treated them very kindly and was encouraging about the quality of their interview, which took over four hours.

Paul said he and Morgan thought of the interview as a chance to share their faith with the world. “We’re representing Christian influencers,” he said, “we’re talking about the Christian faith.” 

When “Shiny Happy People” came out, as Paul and Morgan began watching the first two episodes, they wondered how their interview would fit in a way that balanced the extremism the series was depicting. “And then suddenly we realized where we’re gonna fit,” said Paul.

The Olliges appear briefly in the fourth episode, titled “Arrows Activated,” and the person who frames their views is influencer Jennifer Sutphin. Sutphin runs the YouTube channel Fundie Fridays, which evaluates Christian fundamentalism. The influencer, who provides commentary throughout “Shiny Happy People” and who has published a lengthy YouTube video on the Olliges, in the docuseries refers to younger Christian influencers who are “parroting these ideals of the older generation.”

The docuseries then shows a woman speaking at an IBLP conference expressing remorse that she did not submit to her husband when he told her not to wear pants. A few seconds later, the episode shows Morgan explaining that the role of a wife in marriage is to submit to her husband. 

The section the Olliges appear in includes clips from the their channel, as well as a montage of clips from other Christian influencers, all demonstrating that a younger generation of people is perpetuating the (harmful) ideas espoused by IBLP. The docuseries then moves on to recount Josh Duggar’s conviction and sentencing for possessing child sex abuse materials (CSAM).

When the producers reached out to persuade the Olliges to participate in the docuseries, “we had no idea, you guys, that it was literally all about the IBLP,” said Morgan. She said she had not even heard of IBLP before. Paul had, but he said his family only “touched the surface” of its teachings. 

Morgan said that the docuseries portrayed no difference between Christianity and the extremism of certain factions. She explained that she is not upset at the clips of her and Paul the producers chose because she stands by her words, and she’s not even angry and that they used only a couple minutes of the Olliges’ interview. “I’m upset and frustrated at how just badly and disgustingly they lied to us,” she said. 

While the docuseries was critiquing extreme views of Christianity on one side of a spectrum, “[the show’s] sources are fringe on the other side,” said Paul, naming Sutphin specifically as some who “represents this Reddit hate group of trolls that hate Christians.”