Aired by BBC Knowledge in South Africa and by the Travel Channel in the US the show, produced by Cicada Productions, has been scorned by experts who accuse the makers of mistranslating interviews, staging events and fabricating rituals.
Mark & Olly: Living with the Machigenga was debunked by two eminent experts on the tribe; Dr Glenn Shepard, an anthropologist and Ron Snell (who grew up in the village).
Shepard stated that the show had mistranslated interviews to include inaccurate references to sex life in the tribe and an alleged hostile attitude to outsiders.
For his part, Snell points out that he had never heard of the pig dance which was broadcast on the show and described a scene where the pair were forced to sleep outside the village with a psychoactive drink prior to embarking on a pilgrimage as “phony.”
BBC Worldwide said it is investigating the claims.
Show's makers reject academics' claim that Mark & Olly: Living with the Machigenga was 'staged, false, fabricated and distorted'
By Mark Sweney
"My purpose and my record working with indigenous peoples speaks to the facts," said Steeds.
"I worked with the Matsigenka and other indigenous people because I believe that fair and accurate reporting of their lives and informing an audience of their cultures and history contributes significantly to their survival and strengthens their cause for their self-determined rights to life."
"[We] remain satisfied that the programme was made to exacting and professional standards and the events and descriptions appearing on screen represent fair reflections, both of the tribe and the experience of living with them," the companies said in a statement.
"The accusations referred to by Survival International [which published the allegations] are almost entirely opinion based or concern matters which are highly subjective and open to personal interpretation and as such are rejected."
For more on Amazon Indians, see Amondawa Has No Word for "Time"? and Sadistic Indians in Cannibal Holocaust.