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Mike Rowe says US gov't revoked permits to film 'Dirty Jobs' episode at last minute — allegedly over Rowe's 'personal politics'
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery

Mike Rowe says US gov't revoked permits to film 'Dirty Jobs' episode at last minute — allegedly over Rowe's 'personal politics'

Mike Rowe, beloved host of TV show "Dirty Jobs," said the federal government revoked permits to film an episode of his show at the last minute — allegedly over Rowe's "personal politics."

What are the details?

Rowe on Monday outlined the issue in detail on Facebook, saying the Government Services Administration "suddenly revoked our permit" as the agency "oversees the location" where the episode on boilermakers was to be filmed.

The host said "Dirty Jobs" was required to apply for permits "months ago," and after receiving them, "we were assured several times over the last few months that everything was still good to go."

Then suddenly they weren't.

Rowe said that "just two days before I was scheduled to arrive, we received a phone call from a woman at the GSA who informed us that our permits were being revoked. When we asked for an explanation, she said, 'security concerns.' When we asked her what kind of security concerns, she said she didn’t know. She only told us that the decision had come down from 'the very highest levels within the GSA.'"

The host said the surprising permit revocation was a "first."

"Over the last twenty years, Dirty Jobs has filmed in many sensitive environments under government control. We’ve received permits from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Seabees, Coast Guard, NASA, and The Army Corps of Engineers," he noted. "We’ve gotten permission to film inside the Capitol and a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. We even got a permit to film inside the National Security Agency! In all cases, we worked closely and in good faith with the government and scrupulously avoided any areas that were deemed sensitive or secure. Never once in twenty years has the government revoked a permit — much less at the last minute, and with no plausible explanation."

Rowe also wondered why the boilermaker employees were still working at the location in question a week after the permits were revoked "if the building is under some sort of security threat."

'Personal politics'

The host added that his production team also received a phone call from someone at the highest levels of the GSA who claimed the decision had "nothing to do with security, and everything to do with politics." The caller — apparently also a GSA higher-up — said someone in the agency “doesn’t like Mike Rowe’s personal politics" and deliberately set out to "string us along until the last possible second, for the express purpose of 'yanking my chain.'"

Rowe acknowledged it's "possible this person might be mistaken or lying. But I don’t think so. This individual sounded credible, and frankly, their explanation makes a lot more sense than some last minute 'security concern,' especially in these divided times."

Rowe added that his "personal politics are not a matter of public record, and Dirty Jobs has no political agenda whatsoever. I’ve never publicly endorsed a candidate, or encouraged any of the six million people on this page to vote one way or the other. Likewise, my foundation is aggressively non-partisan and provides scholarships for liberals and conservatives alike."

But then again, he said "not everybody is happy" with his TV show "How America Works" — likely because it airs on Fox Business: "These days that’s enough to upset certain people. For those people, where I appear matters far more than what I say. For those people, politics are the only thing they can see, no matter what they’re looking at. Of course, those same people seem to forget about the show I hosted on CNN for three years, or the countless appearances I’ve made on PBS, NPR, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, and thirty years of programming on Discovery — but whatever."

Rowe noted to whoever may have tried to frustrate him that it didn't work — however, the permit revocation did hurt production company members who "spent their time and money preparing for a shoot you encouraged them to prepare for. Dirty Jobs is a challenging show to produce, and my team works their collective ass off. You made their job a lot harder and wasted a lot of their time. You also hurt my film crew, who freelance for a living, and suddenly found themselves with a day off they didn’t anticipate, with no time to replace the lost work with another gig. And of course, you disappointed some boilermakers who work VERY hard to keep people like you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Those men were looking forward to sharing their trade with America. You kept that from happening."

The Daily Wire said it reached out to the GSA for comment but didn't immediately receive a response.

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