marty and misty raney
Source: Instagram

Is 'Homestead Rescue' Real, or Is the Hit Discovery Series Scripted?

Shannon Raphael - Author

Sep. 29 2020, Updated 1:34 p.m. ET

Since 2016, Marty Raney and his two kids, Matt and Misty Raney, have been helping people successfully transition from participating in mainstream society to living off the grid on Homestead Rescue. The hit Discovery series is now airing its seventh season, and the family has assisted dozens of families in their quest to live more simply.

Over the years, the Raneys have been accused of faking certain storylines for the sake of the cameras, and some viewers have doubted just how real the show is.   

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Is Homestead Rescue real? Keep reading to find out if the Raneys have discussed the validity of the series, and for the refresher on the lawsuit that made many people skeptical. 

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Is 'Homestead Rescue' fake?

As homesteaders themselves, the Raneys have a lot of experience in what it takes to get people to be fully self-sufficient. Patriarch Marty Raney has a holistic understanding of the skills that are needed, while Matt and Misty have more targeted expertises. Misty is knowledgeable in farming, while Matt specializes in fishing and hunting. 

Like many reality stars, the Raney family has been accused multiple times over the years of embellishing certain aspects of the show for the sake of drama. 

Back in July of 2017, Marty discussed his role on the show with Fox News

"[I'm] not necessarily [there] to give them a handout but to give them a hand up...everyone wants a handout and I'm sensitive to those people, and those people I don't visit... I'm more impressed by the doers and the workers than I am the talkers and the dreamers," he shared.

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He then explained that he practices what he preaches because he really does lead a homesteading life.  

"What made America was the homesteader, the people who built their own homes. Those people built this country, hard workers, people not afraid to roll up their sleeves. That is a dying breed," he continued. "I know because I'm one of them."

In January of 2018, couple Wren and Ini (last names are not divulged on the show) discussed their experience during the filming of their episode. 

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They even mentioned how much of it was real to Ozark County Times

"The Raneys are definitely genuine people, although there is, of course, a little hype and drama on screen," they shared. "Marty is for sure an intense dude and very kind and caring. They all truly came to help and are big-hearted, hard-working, real people. What impressed me most about Marty was that often when the cameras weren’t rolling, he would be out there working, bare-chested and sweaty."

They noted that, for the most part, what was shown on-screen was real. 

"As always with reality TV, there is an immense amount of film (days' worth) cut down to a 40-minute show. There's so much left unsaid and edited out..." the pair said. "We were really nervous before we watched the show as to how we would be portrayed, and we were really relieved at the end result. Like we said, little details here and there, but on the whole we’re pleased with our representation and had fun watching it!"

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What happened with the 'Homestead Rescue' lawsuit?

Though Ini and Wren had an overall positive experience with the Raney family, not all Homestead Rescue alums felt the same. Season 1 couple Kim and Josh Zabec ended up suing the series. The couple, who owns Revolutionary Roots Farm, claimed that they were approached to participate in a show about successful homesteaders, and not about ones who needed help. 

The end result of the lawsuit isn't clear, but the couple was definitely not pleased with how they were portrayed on the show. 

Homestead Rescue airs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Discovery. You can catch up on old episodes on Hulu.

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