ABC News’ Peter Madden reports:
Occupy Wall Street occupied the “mockupiers” late Thursday night, storming a version of their former Zuccotti Park campsite and shutting down production of an OWS-themed episode of NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
With incessant, sarcastic calls for a “mic check,” about 100 occupiers crashed the set at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan, wandering through tents and signs designed as props for pretend protesters.
“This is not us,” Drew Horbein, 24, of Brooklyn Heights told The Daily News. “We are not part of corporate TV America.”
Law and order, the real kind, arrived in the form of about 100 police officers soon after, threatening arrests if the crowd failed to disperse. An officer with a bullhorn ended the standoff after midnight with the announcement that the city had revoked NBC’s film permit, drawing cheers as the crew disassembled their fake campsite.
A statement from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office of Media and Entertainment to ABC News did not acknowledge Occupy Wall Street’s presence on the set and attributed the shutdown to safety concerns.
“Overnight a crowd gathered at Foley Square, where ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ was scheduled to begin filming this morning. The production did not have the required rigging permit to begin set up…. For safety reasons, the production was asked to stop their preparations last night while the crowd dispersed…. The city is currently experiencing record levels of productions, and the local entertainment industry employs 100,000 New Yorkers working behind the camera.”
NBC’s imitation may have failed to flatter, but earlier this year, Bloomberg praised the “booming” film and television production industry in New York City, host to 200 movies, 23 primetime television shows, and the business bolstered by them.
“The sun may not be setting on Hollywood just yet, but it keeps rising higher in New York City,” said the mayor. “This is where the best television in the world is being made.”
Filming is expected to resume today.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.