’90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way’: Why Some Fans are Upset Over the Show’s Depiction of Ethiopia

Biniyam Shibre and his girlfriend, Ariela Weinberg, are making a life for themselves in his home country of Ethiopia. But some 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way fans believe the show only features the dilapidated neighborhoods, and purposely leaves out the more modern ones. 

Ariela and Biniyam resized
Ariela and Biniyam on ’90 Day Fiance: The Other Way’ | TLC

Ariela’s father isn’t impressed by her neighborhood on ’90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way’

On a recent episode of 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way, Ariela and Biniyam take her parents, Janice and Fred, to a local market. On the drive there, Fred notices the small homes and huts along the road and wonders if people live there. After getting a sense of the area, he questions how comfortable Ariela and her son Aviel would be in the long run. 

“I didn’t expect Ethiopia to be as underdeveloped,” he admits. “I worry about day-to-day life. When you look at the road, where does my grandson play? Does he play in the street?”

Then later, when walking through the market, Biniyam stops at a stand to buy a chicken. He holds the chicken as the shopkeeper prepares to slaughter it, but the bird escapes his grip. 

After Ariela and Janice insist he leave the chicken, Biniyam tells producers he was only trying to impress them. 

“I’m trying to make a good impression because I want to show off the culture,” Biniyam etold producers. “I was so embarrassed.”

Some ’90 Day Fiancé’ fans feel the show only features run-down Ethiopian neighborhoods

After seeing Ariela and Biniyam travel around Addis Ababa, some 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way fans noticed the show largely only features run-down neighborhoods. A few called the series out for doing it to just to amp up the drama. 

“TLC is portraying Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as a poor city to fit their narrative,” one Reddit fan wrote. “And it’s disappointing.”

“So I grew up in Addis and I was shocked that the only parts of the city they show are the impoverished ones,” another Redditor added. “At first I understood they wanted to show the conditions that Bennie (Biniyam) is living under since he is a struggling artist. But then I realized that they seldom show the city itself.”

But others pointed out that it’s possible the series is only focused on the area Biniyam lives in. And it wouldn’t make much sense to shoot elsewhere in the city. 

“That’s just where they live,” one Reddit user suggested. “Why would they show the parts of the city where the people featured aren’t living?”

Ariela wants fans to know there’s more to Ethiopia than ‘poverty’

Over the summer, Ariela shared scenic photos of Ethiopia on her Instagram page. In the post, she assured her followers there’s more to the African country than most assume. 

“I am posting these pictures of beautiful places in Ethiopia to show the world that there is more to the country than poverty and desert,” Ariela wrote alongside pictures of Gonder’s Fasilides Castle and the Simien mountains.


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“Ethiopia is incredibly lush and green with an ancient history,” she continued. “It is the only country in Africa never to have been colonized. They speak over 90 languages with as many ethnic groups and cultures. I love Ethiopia and I hope after this mess is over people will visit the country.”