‘NBCUniversal’ pledges not to use occupied Silwan as location for archaeological thriller

Israel/Palestine
on 13 Comments
Palestinian stand in front of a protest tent in Silwan on February 27, 2009. (Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images)

Palestinian stand in front of a protest tent in Silwan on February 27, 2009. (Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images)

As we reported here, NBCUniversal and an Israeli company called Keshet are planning to film an Indiana-Jones-style murder mystery called “Dig” that is set in the occupied territories of the Old City of Jerusalem.

While the actual site of the archaeological dig was never announced, we speculated from Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat’s involvement in the production and his dedication to digging up biblical sites in the occupied city that the show would find its way to the “City of David” in Silwan, just south of the Old City in East Jerusalem.

The plans led to a civil society initiative to halt the production and generate controversy over NBCUniversal’s plans.

After what it calls “intensive communications” with NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, the General Delegation of the PLO to the United States yesterday received an official statement from NBCUniversal clarifying that NBCUniversal as well as the production company Keshet have no plans to film in Silwan.

According to the statement NBCUniversal provided from Keshet:

“There was no plan made to film the series in the City of David National Park or in the village of Silwan, furthermore, location scouting and planning will not begin until February 2014, and any decisions regarding possible production sites will be made with respect for all concerned parties.”

But the letter is mute on the question of East Jerusalem, which is occupied and the site of other Israeli digs. I have seen the NBCUniversal letter, which includes a promise from the American company:

“NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment reiterates that there are no plans, and there will be no plans, to film “DIG” in the City of David National Park or the village of Silwan,” writes Cory Shields, executive vice president for communications.

 

    Leave a Reply