Filming of a Law & Order SVU episode about Occupy Wall Street was disrupted Thursday (December 8th) by over 100 OWS demonstrators who objected to the show “profiting” from their protest movement, and calling it “insulting.” About 100 police officers were called in to keep order, but just after midnight, there was an announcement that the City of New York had rescinded L&O’s filming permit.
Let’s consider the precedent: if a group of people doesn’t like the content of a television program or movie, and they get enough people together to disrupt the production, the municipality, even after granting the permit to film, will rescind it. That could pretty much mean the end of on-location filming for any television program or movie if all municipalities are equally spineless (and some programs and movies need to film on-location). If Law & Order wants to do an episode that references Fred Phelps, well, we all know how easily he can get 100 protesters together. One hundred women think that Pan Am is sexist? Shut ‘em down. One hundred pro-life advocates don’t like what they see as a show’s pro-choice agenda — or vice versa? Gone. Any hundred people can be more powerful than Nielsen families.
Let’s call this what it is: OWS acted like a thuggish mob, and the City of New York acted like spineless wimps.