Can't Make LAUSD Look Good? Then You Can't Film in Their Schools.
Chef and food revolutionary Jamie Oliver has had his filming permit revoked for shooting segments of his ABC reality show "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" at the Los Angeles Unified School District's charter West Adams Prep, reports the LA Times. Oliver made his way into West Adams after being initially categorically denied access to the LAUSD last year.
Oliver believes that he is being shut out, because he can't be sure the district is going to be portrayed favorably:
"My filming permit was terminated because I can't promise that the LAUSD [will] look good," he said, according to a transcript of his speech. "They fail to see me as a positive, and they fail to see the TV as an incredible way to spread the word, to inspire people, to inform parents, to see other teachers doing pioneering things."
The LAUSD, to some extent, agrees with Oliver: "Officials with both the school district and the production said the dispute stemmed in part from concerns over how the district would be portrayed." A spokesman added that they had previous bad experiences with other reality shows filming on their campuses; they cite a $100,000 unfinished paint job at Hollenback Middle School left behind by the NBC series "School Pride" last year. The LAUSD also says that they "aren't interested" in a show that involves a lot of conflicts, as Oliver's first season of "Revolution" did in West Virginia.
The District is also leery of the show not giving their food services a chance to demonstrate what they say are positive changes to their meal programs, though, locally, a strong grassroots movement remains at work to ask the LAUSD to be even more mindful of their business of food service, and to make further improvements. A strong grassroots movement is also in place to help Oliver get into the LAUSD's schools.
Another reality production, MTV's "Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory," also lost their permit this week; they had been planning to film at Le Conte Middle School in Hollywood.