The Slaton sisters, Amy and Tammy, has been sharing their weight-loss journey with the viewing public for a few years now, on the TLC network through the reality-television show “1000-lb Sisters.” Since the start of the series, it was a known fact that both sisters shared a not-so-good relationship with their mother, Darlene Slaton. The sisters admitted that they never had the support that they needed from their mother, and fans were curious as to the reasons behind the unhealthy family dynamics.
- 1 All about “1000-lb Sisters”
- 2 Meet Darlene Slaton
- 3 Darlene’s relationship with Amy and Tammy
- 4 Will we see a change in the Slaton family dynamics in the next season?
- 5 Interesting controversies and rumors about “1000-lb Sisters”
- 6 1000-lb Sisters: Guided-reality or not?
All about “1000-lb Sisters”
Amy Slaton had already been uploading videos onto her YouTube account since 2011, but most of them had a mediocre number of views. She never imagined that in 2014 her life would change, after she posted the “Chubby Bunny Challenge” video she did with her sister Tammy. Some people thought that the challenge was quite dangerous, but a majority of viewers thought it was hilarious. The video of two morbidly-obese sisters stuffing their mouths with marshmallows went viral, and attracted millions of views. The fascination with them reached the TLC executives, and they created a reality TV show just for them.
Amy Slaton-Halterman and Tammy Slaton
Amy was born on 28 October 1985, while younger sister Tammy arrived on 27 July 1986 to parents Donald and Easter Darlene Slaton. The sisters rarely talked about their father, only mentioning that he needed to lose weight; fans surmised that they probably didn’t enjoy a close relationship with him. When “1000-lb Sisters” started, they lived in a duplex house, with Amy already married to Michael Halterman. At that time, Tammy had mobility issues as she was over 600lbs. Amy, who was 200 pounds lighter at 405lbs, took care of her sister’s needs with the help of her husband.
The sisters were supposed to be in another show
When the Slaton sisters were initially contacted by the TLC network, they were invited to be included in another weight-loss-themed reality TV series called “Family by the Ton.” According to Tammy, the producers changed their minds after they watched the other videos they posted on YouTube. ‘They loved how Amy and I interact with each other, you know, how we joke around. How real we are with each other.’ The producers were intrigued by how the sisters weren’t shy in expressing what they felt, and that they loved to have fun, despite their dire health issues.
Title of the show
Tammy shared on TikTok that for the longest time they didn’t have a name for the show. They used a different name as a working title before the producers came up with “1000-lb Sisters.” It was cleverly chosen, as it was derived from the combined weight of the sisters when they started filming. Some people were initially confused because they thought the sisters individually weighed 1,000lbs!
TV debut in 2020
After securing the sisters’ approval, filming was handled by Crazy Legs Production for TLC. The network ordered six episodes to complete its first season, with the TV premiere airing on the first day of January 2020. The show reached the 39th spot on the cable TV rating game, out of the 150 programs that aired on that day, which for a non-celebrity reality-TV series was considered a pretty decent result. Since then, the Slaton sisters have become two of the biggest stars on cable television, literally and… literally.
Meet Darlene Slaton
Darlene Slaton was born on 25 December 1960, in the small city of Shawneetown in Gallatin County, Illinois; by the 1990s, she’d moved to Morganfield, Kentucky.
The men in her life
The Slaton sisters never talked much about their mother’s personal details, but fans-turned-sleuths gathered information about her life. It seemed that Darlene Slaton was involved with four men in her adult life: the first one was the father of Misty Wentworth, Darlene’s eldest, whom people believed was her first husband. Next was George H. Combs, the father of Chris Combs and Amanda Halterman. Then, there was Donald W. Slaton, the father of Amy and Tammy, and finally came the Slaton siblings’ stepfather, Robert Franklin Rednour. He appeared in the first season of the reality-TV show, but there was no mention of a child from their union. The last three men mentioned have already died – Donald in 2011, George in 2016, and Robert in 2021.
The complicated Slaton family tree
As the Slaton family was introduced in “1000-lb Sisters,” viewers noticed that Amy and Tammy’s other siblings didn’t share the same last names, which was never addressed on the show, so naturally the fans didn’t know how they were all related. It was only their stepfather, Robert passing away that helped clear some of the confusion, as his obituary was made public. The Slaton siblings also have two stepsiblings, Crystal Collins and Wayne Rednour, from their stepfather. Sisters Amanda Combs-Halterman and Amy Slaton-Halterman share the same last name, as their husbands, Jason and Michael, are brothers.
During the first season of the reality TV show, the narrative focused only on Amy and Tammy, but in the following seasons, their siblings became involved in their weight-loss adventure.
Most of her children were overweight
When the rest of the Slaton siblings appeared as guests on the TV show, fans scrambled to get more information about them. Later on, their only brother, Chris, became a permanent fixture in the second season, because Amy couldn’t take care of Tammy anymore due to the birth of her son. While Chris took care of Tammy, he was also soon convinced by the doctors to enter the weight-loss program too, after he shared that his father died at the age of 57 and weighed well over 400lbs, which was near to his own weight. He had no desire to end that way too, and wanted to be healthy for his wife and son. Chris wasn’t the only other Slaton sibling who went under the knife. Someone mentioned that their sister Amanda had already been through the same journey, and had successful weight-loss surgery seven years prior to the start of the reality TV show.
Darlene’s relationship with Amy and Tammy
Viewers of TLC’s “1000-lb Sisters” initially hated Darlene, especially during the first two seasons of the show, but eventually changed their opinion of her by the time the third season ended.
An unsupportive mother to her children
Amy and Tammy were mostly raised by their grandmother, whom they adored. Most viewers who saw Darlene Slaton during the first season of “1000-lb Sisters” were appalled at her behavior. At that time, both the Slaton sisters had a consultation with weight-loss expert, Dr. Charles Proctor, who suggested that they lose the required number of pounds, to qualify for Bariatric Surgery. Both followed the doctor’s advice, even if Tammy was a bit hesitant because she had to exercise, and already knew how hard it was just to move few steps.
The sisters were excited to tell Darlene about their plans, and met her in a restaurant, however, they didn’t get any kind of support from her. Amy was quite sad and gloomy, in that their mother knew that it was Tammy’s first time to leave the house after a long time, due to mobility issues, but she seemed indifferent to her daughter’s sufferings. Amy shared that Darlene could have said, ‘Are you OK? Do you need anything? But really she was just sitting there being nonchalant about the whole ordeal.’ To make matters worse, instead of encouraging her daughters to do it, she told Tammy that she was quite sure that her daughter would chicken out in the end, because she didn’t have the willpower.
Explanation about her being an undemonstrative mother
Tammy shared that no one really paid much attention to her and Amy while they were growing up; they didn’t receive many hugs, especially from their mother. The only time they felt that they were truly loved was when they were with their grandmother, but she passed away when Amy was about ten years old. Amy rationalized her mother’s coldness: ‘I’m not saying our mom didn’t care. I’m just saying she didn’t know how to show it.’ She believed that Darlene was deliberately impassive towards them, and that it had something to do with her upbringing. The sisters said it was heartbreaking, and that was why they vowed to be there for each other, for the rest of their lives.
how are y'all doing? let's talk
— Tammi ❤ (@Tammy_Slaton) March 11, 2021
Some fans blamed Tammy’s toxic behavior on Darlene
Most of the “1000-lb Sisters” fans couldn’t help but be annoyed at Tammy’s decisions and actions over the past couple of seasons. Initially, they were forgiving of her outbursts and just thought that it was due to her frustration with not qualifying for the bariatric surgery. However, she continued to lash out at everyone, even at Amy, who was her number one supporter whenever things didn’t go her way. The fans weren’t shy about calling her out, and most of them blamed Darlene for it. They said that with a mother like her, no one should be surprised that Tammy turned out that way. Other fans believed that while Darlene was part of the problem, Tammy’s ridiculous drama in the TV show was caused by what they fondly called “evil editing” by the producers.
An unexpected heartfelt speech moved viewers to tears
After Tammy created so much drama in the third season, such as being mean to her siblings, not following her personal nurse Tisa’s advice, and behaving badly by drinking and partying with boys, she finally decided to voluntarily enter a rehab facility. Everyone in her family was ecstatic, as they all wished for ‘it’ to happen, including her mother. Fans weren’t expecting much from Darlene anymore, because they were let down by her so many times. However, during the final episode of season three aired in January 2022, she surprised Tammy and her siblings as well as the viewers. It happened when the Slaton family had a little get-together, to say ‘goodbye’ to their sister, as they knew that it would take Tammy a bit longer to fulfill her goal.
Darlene was teary-eyed when she made a heartfelt speech to her daughter, saying, ‘Tammy, I know you know that I love you. You got it this time. I have been proud of you ever since you were born.’ She praised her daughter for always being the smart girl in the family and the first one to graduated with honors. While it would be Tammy’s second attempt to qualify for bariatric surgery, Darlene felt that this time her daughter would prove everyone wrong by successfully qualifying for it this time.
Will we see a change in the Slaton family dynamics in the next season?
From the way the third season ended, fans of “1000-lb-Sisters” – especially those who wanted Tammy to succeed – couldn’t help but feel anxious about ever seeing their favorite reality-TV stars again. There had been no official announcement of the renewal of the show. Tammy was bombarded with questions about it online, but initially refrained from replying to any of them. However, sometime in July 2022, she caved in to a persistent fan who begged for updates. She addressed the question through TikTok, which was her preferred social media platform these days, since she was rumored to have been banned from using Instagram. She informed everyone that they’d already started filming for the fourth season in June 2022 but didn’t disclose anything else, saying that she was forbidden by the producers of the show to share any specifics about what recently happened to her.
Interesting controversies and rumors about “1000-lb Sisters”
Making it big in the entertainment industry had enormous perks, as enjoyed by the Slaton family, but it ultimately led to the loss of one’s privacy. When their reality-TV show became one of the most-viewed on the TLC network, several controversies and rumors came out, involving its stars. Here are just some of them:
Tammy was accused of abusing a nurse
Since the first season of “1000-lb Sisters,” the viewing public noticed that Tammy had a quick temper, which would flare-up each time she didn’t get her way. She would blurt out hurtful words directed at her siblings, and throw tantrums. There were rumors about her alleged physical assault, which supposedly happened during the off-season. Some said that when she was checked into an assisted-living facility, she smacked a nurse through frustration. When she was confronted by her fans about the rumor, she told them to never believe everything that was circulated online about her. She was disappointed at those people who were quick to judge her, and called them ‘dumb as a box of rocks,’ saying that she’d never hurt any nurse or hospital aide.
Amy was accused of animal cruelty
Due to the increasing popularity of the Slaton sisters, one of Amy’s past accusations resurfaced online. Before she became a reality-TV celebrity, there were a few times when she allegedly left their dog in situations that were considered harmful to the animal. There was a time they went out to the arcade with their dog named Little Bit, but since the pet was forbidden to enter the premises, Amy left it inside their vehicle. She was said to have never returned even once to check the condition of Little Bit, and it was only Tammy who brought ice water for the poor dog. Apparently, it wasn’t the first time she did it to a pet; back in 2016, she left another dog inside their camper on a hot day for quite a long time, without making sure that the dog was comfortable. She denied it, claiming that she left something for the dog. Both incidents were allegedly captured on a video that she posted on social media, but deleted later on when she received hate mail.
The fans were curious as to why Tammy stopped being active on social media, sometime during 2021 and 2022. It was rumored that she’d been banned by social media apps, Instagram and Tiktok. Since fans couldn’t reach Tammy to clear it up, they contacted Amy to get an explanation. Amy said that her sister was locked out of her Instagram account and couldn’t use it anymore, but she never addressed the TikTok rumor. Most fans believed that either Tammy violated policies by vaping weed online, or that she allegedly scammed people on some merchandise that she sold through the app. However, when TikTok was asked about it, they said that Tammy’s account was just wrongfully removed, and had reinstated it immediately.
1000-lb Sisters: Guided-reality or not?
When the first season of “1000-lb Sisters” was aired, Darlene was a picture of a cold, mean, and cruel mother to her daughters, especially to Tammy, and was heavily bashed on social media because of it. The hurtful comments she made to her daughters were very discouraging, and fans couldn’t be blamed for thinking the worst of her. However, reality-TV shows were mostly guided-reality shows which would mean that some of its stars were mostly in cahoots with the producers. Plotlines were discussed, and execution of the story-telling was pre-planned. While it might not be the case for all the shows out there, there was a huge possibility that some of the dramas they showed were created to make the show much more interesting to the viewers.