For several weeks, I’ve been trying to get an interview with Jeff Collins, the executive producer of National Geographic’s TV series Meet The Hutterites. I asked Jeff, via Twitter, for an online Q&A; I called his office to try and set up a time to talk; and I made a formal interview request via the media relations folks at the National Geographic Channel. But no luck.
Best I can tell, Jeff Collins has no interest in describing exactly how he produced his reality TV series — even though shedding some light on what happened behind the scenes at Montana’s King Ranch Colony, where the series was shot, would probably help end the controversy that’s been swirling around the show for months.
Early this week, via Twitter, I once again asked Jeff why he refused to discuss the making of “MTH” (Meet The Hutterites). His response: insults and a threat.
Trying to maintain a positive tone, I replied:
Within 24 hours, Jeff disappeared — and shut down his Twitter account:
For those of us who had been chatting with Jeff on Twitter… well, we were puzzled:
Seeking honest answers to fair questions in a public venue clearly upset Jeff, which tells you most of what you need to know about the making of Meet The Hutterites.
Then again, Jeff may have simply taken a page from National Geographic’s increasingly familiar communications playbook: When confronted with uncomfortable questions, remain silent until the questions go away.