HBO pulls plug on Fire Island reality series
The New York Observer reports that, after two weekends of filming, HBO has canceled a planned documentary about gay men sharing a summer house on Fire Island. The project was to have been directed by Oscar-winning documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Paragraph 175, The Celluloid Closet, The Times of Harvey Milk) and would have focused on five housemates. The Observer cites several possible reasons for aborting the project: HBO was apparently concerned about outing some of the island's summer residents, particularly after receiving a letter from the University of Pennsylvania law school's dean of students and his partner; the housemates insisted that no sexual acts could be filmed in the house, which would have severely limited any salacious value the show would have had; and many notable Fire Island dance clubs and nightspots barred the camera crews from entering. A spokesman for Epstein and Friedman could not be reached for comment.