A casting scout has been contacting members of Occupy Portland, asking them to find a protesting family to appear on the ABC television show Wife Swap.
Bert Klasey, a freelance producer whose previous work includes AMC's Hoarders, has been posting on Twitter and sending letters to Occupy leaders. His interest in "99% families" for the series seems legit: The phone number on ABC's casting website leads to a voicemail box for the reality-TV series. We thought Wife Swap was cancelled in 2010, but it's apparently been picked up for the fall.
At least one Occupy Portland organizer has used her Facebook page to post Klasey's request for an "out-spoken" family with a child over the age of six, willing to trade spouses. He's dangling a $1,000 referral fee.
Most Occupiers in the comments thread seem amused, but some remain skeptical.
"Be a prop for mainstream media so they could make propaganda against economic justice?" writes Jason Sayre. "I can't see the positive side of this."
Klasey does not say who the woman would trade place with, but we're assuming Occupy Portland will soon be joined in front of City Hall by a tea-partying Alabama mama.
The full request is below.
Hi Occupy Portland,My name is Bert Klasey and I'm a Casting Producer working on the new season of ABC's "Wife Swap."Due to the fact that it's an election year, we are really focusing on finding politically active or outspoken families (or as we're calling it, "99% Families") for this season of the show. I've been working with Occupy Wall Street and they have been great, and suggested that I contact other offices around the country.One of my focuses is on the PNW and I'm wondering if you could help me out. We need to find families who would be willing to have the moms change places for a week with a mom who is quite the opposite. If you've seen the show, I'm sure you understand the idea. It's a bit of a fish-out-of-water story, but usually in the end the folks are able to find some perspective and learn a little about a different way of life.I'm looking for families with both parents and at least one child (age 6 and up) who are politically active (hopefully on the progressive side of things!) and are all living in the same house. The more out-spoken they are about their politics, the better, especially if the whole family is on the same end of the political spectrum.I've attached a press release that we've circulated in hopes that you may have some ideas on some families or where it is I should be looking.Feel free to call or email with any questions, and I'd be more than happy to share all the info on us, the show, and the casting process.We also are offering a $1000.00 referral fee for anyone who suggests a great family that ends up on the show - which is a nice bonus!