Marion Barry declines to discuss potential reality show all about Marion Barry
The big D.C. rumor last fall was that Washington filmmaker Kirk Fraser was tailing Marion Barry around town for a possible reality TV series, but neither man would talk about it at the time.
Okay, fine, creative process blah blah. Then last week, Fraser's May 3rd Films posted two tantalizing excerpts on YouTube, footage shot earlier this month of the high drama around the censuring of Barry by fellow D.C. Council members. So now they're ready to fill us in on this project?
Nope. Fraser again declined to return multiple phone calls; Barry stayed on his cell only long enough to tell us how he's not talking about this and how Fraser wasn't going to call us, either.
"Of course," he had seen the YouTube clips, he said, but "I'm not at liberty to discuss this." Not at liberty to discuss ... a Marion Barry project starring Marion Barry? "Other people involved," he demurred.
Granted, at a time when every fifth person you meet is running around town with a camera dreaming of creating the next, um, "Blonde Charity Mafia," shooting a reality pilot is not such a big deal anymore. But Fraser has professional cred as the guy behind a documentary on basketball's Len Bias that aired on ESPN and the cult hit "The Life of Rayful Edmond," about the notorious local drug dealer. And Barry -- well, the scandal-ridden, bullet-taking, large-living political survivor was a reality star before there was such a thing as reality TV.
So, little surprise that the clips have the soapy slickness of something you might actually see on TV someday. (Though the clips end with a "Fall 2010" teaser, Barry has told some people that Fraser is still shopping for a network.)
After the March 2 council vote, the star confers with his staff and lawyer Fred Cooke, who speculates that Barry might get his chairmanships back by year's end, after "time in the penalty box." Barry gets a pensive look and says, "There's a good side of it. This frees me up to do a lot more..."
Cut to the next clip, where the council member takes his free time down to an Anacostia social services center. He leans over the front desk and asks, seemingly for the sake of those of you watching at home, "What kind of things happen here at this center?" He works the room, chatting up constituents -- but then picks up a Washington Post with news of his disgrace on the front, and frowns. The violins swell...
The Reliable Source
March 25, 2010; 1:04 AM ET
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