As filming for the 32nd season of MTV’s The Real World has begun, several businesses near the show’s set on 12th Ave in the Ballou Wright building have already been asked to sign filming agreements. Some are hesitant.
Real World Seattle TV show sighting! They're filming aboard the 10:25AM ferry from Bainbridge to Seattle. #realworld32
— WA State Ferries (@wsferries) June 30, 2016
Eltana owner Stephen Brown was approached with a contract, and said turning MTV’s request for filming down flat was an “easy call.” Brown threw out the filming contract, which he said was a one-sided deal.
“Even if it was fair we would not do it,” said Brown, describing the show as dumb, unpopular, disruptive, and off-brand. Eltana has no current plans to ban participants, however. Brown said Eltana “will let anyone in who is a customer and not disruptive.”
Juicebox, in the same building as the production, is also not playing ball. A Juicebox employee said the store was approached with a request to film in the space but declined to sign it and was opting to “stay out of it” as much as possible.
Gnocchi Bar owner Lisa Nakamura also said she would serve anyone who was behaving themselves. “As long as they behave like good human beings, I have no issues,” said Nakamura, but “if they behave like jerks” they will be asked to leave just as anyone else would. Unlike Juicebox and Eltana, Gnocchi has no problem with people filming in the establishment as long as they are not disruptive. Nakamura declined to say whether she had been asked to sign one of the filming contracts.
An employee at Northwest Liquor and Wine said the 12th and Pine liquor store was approached but declined to sign the contract out of respect for customer privacy.
UPDATE: Add 12th Ave craft cocktailer Canon to the “not” roster:
— Erin Boudreau (@Erin_Boudreau) July 1, 2016
One person who has seen the contract tells CHS the basic agreement includes no financial compensation.
UPDATE 7/1/2016 11:05 AM: Here’s the agreement. Thanks to the Hill biz owner who sent it along. We found this passage particularly revealing of the realities of reality tv: “Producer shall have the right to refer to the Property by its actual name or any fictitious name, and the right to attribute actual or fictitious events as occurring on the Property, and the right to replicate the Property and use such replication in Producer’s sole discretion.”
We’re told some have countered the agreement with a request for guaranteed airtime should they accommodate the production. So far, we’re told, producers have balked at any kind of guarantee.
In May, CHS reported that producers had selected Capitol Hill for the setting for the 32nd season of the “reality” TV show. Downsized creative agency Creature sub-leased its 12th Ave office space for the show’s apartment/set. In addition to liking Capitol Hill as “a popular area for the kids to go out,” producers liked the prospect of having the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct as neighbors — many of the problems the show has encountered when filming have come from locals harassing cast members. In the show’s recent stay in Portland, production last through the end of summer and the highly edited episodes appeared the following spring.
If you have seen the filming contract or been approached by The Real World, let CHS know. Should be an interesting summer:
— Aaron J (@flyguy84) July 1, 2016
I SPY THE REAL WORLD FILMING. (cc @parson24) They are walking the sidewalk by Captain Black's. Unless some other group of PYT is filming.
— Renée Krulich (@lostinfont) July 1, 2016
UPDATE: Not everybody is turning MTV away:
— Bullitt Center (@Bullitt_Center) July 1, 2016
UPDATE 7/5/2016: If you want to understand a bit more about why a business might turn MTV down, here’s a response to the agreement from one local owner to the Real World producers. In the meantime, we’ll check in with some who have reportedly said yes — we’ve seen social media reports that the Real World gang was spotted at venues including Rhein Haus and the Unicorn — to ask why they agreed to the contract. Here’s the “no thanks” response from Bang salon and barber shop owner Casey Nikole:
Sorry for the delay. Busy busy busy.
Anywhoooo, finally read over the release and we will definitely pass. That release lacks integrity. There is zero benefit for us and a ton of potential for inconvenience and disastrous brand/identity damage.
Good luck with that release in Capitol Hill. Business owners here are savvy and anyone who takes the time to read it will see that only your company benefits from cooperating or inconveniencing our businesses or customers.
Have you considered: The Real World has taken a nose dive because instead of holding each other up and making life situations a community affair, your company uses this as an opportunity to exploit the identity of the cast as well as any businesses or organizations in the path of your production.
It’s sad because you have a voice and a platform that could be used for good. While you look around the Hill you will see brilliance. The Shout Your Abortion, Labels Give Blank Truths and We BASH Back campaigns along side of many other socially relevant movements that are happening right now around your cast. But what will you feature? The predictable story of drunk kids embarrassing themselves. People are literally dying for a voice. An opportunity to be seen and heard. And yet you squander yours.
While you folks find yourselves lucky enough to be surrounded by the gorgeous community that is Capitol Hill in your overpriced 12th Ave deluxe apartment just know that the people who make this neighborhood great have been priced out of their apartments and spend their days making coffee, food and servicing people we wouldn’t normally chose to surround ourselves with. I strongly encourage you to use your platform/voice/privilege for something other than bar fights and garbage television. It’s early in production. Maybe make this season count and do something “REAL”.