The Home Box Office show “Girls” is a bad guest, say Greenpoint residents who want the hit program’s crew to clean up after itself.
Soggy signs notifying neighbors of a late-April “Girls” shoot are still hanging from poles and a neighbor’s repeated calls to Lena Dunham collaborator Judd Apatow’s production company about the detritus were not returned, he said. The aggrieved Greenpointer dialed up the mayor’s office but operators told him to tidy up the mess himself, he said.
“There is no system for complaints against film companies within the city,” said India Street resident Rolf Carle. “It passes you off to a system that is for clients of the city, not complainants.”
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, which regulates movie and television productions, said it refers residents back to production companies because it believes that is the quickest way to address the problem.
“It’s done for efficiency’s sake,” said department spokeswoman Marybeth Ihle. “Most questions that a resident will have can be answered immediately by the production.”
The city is supposed to step in if the production company does not clean up its mess, Ihle said.
In this case, she said the city asked the production company to go back to Greenpoint and remove the signs. But the company never did and the city never checked to see if producers had followed through.
Another annoyed local said the only way media bigwigs will reconsider littering is if it hits their pocketbooks, but that the city will never implement fines because doing so would cut into its bottom line.
“The city should be giving them tickets, but it never will,” said Michael Hoffman. “The city is getting money from them and that is all they care about.”
A local pol agrees that the city needs to get tougher on entertainment industry types who use the borough as a backdrop.
“Film shoots are guests in our community and as guests they need to show respect to their host,” said Councilman Steve Levin (D–Greenpoint), who has introduced legislation that would publicize where shoots are happening and when.
Levin allowed that he likes the show about wealthy young women finding their way in Brooklyn, but said that doesn’t let its creators off the hook.
“I am a fan of ‘Girls’ and believe it has brought positive exposure to the Greenpoint community, but like everyone else they need to clean up after themselves.”
Carle runs a Facebook page that documents the delinquency of film crews that shoot in Greenpoint and the “Girls” garbage is only the latest indignity, he said.