Controversy heats up over reality show filming in Murrells Inlet - WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

Controversy heats up over reality show filming in Murrells Inlet

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The King's Krest home. (Source: VRBO.com) The King's Krest home. (Source: VRBO.com)
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MURRELLS INLET, SC -

News13 first reported last week that the same production company that brought you MTV's 'Jersey Shore' now plans to shoot a reality show in Murrells Inlet.

Since then, crews have begun work on the large home called the King's Krest, a 100-year-old house on the Marshwalk, where the cast will be living for about a month during filming of the show called "The Dirty South."

Word of the reality show has a lot of neighbors and nearby residents upset about what a show like this could do to the inlet's reputation.  It has also frustrated residents that Georgetown County officials didn't try to stop it.

"There was all this secrecy, they kept telling us it was a documentary, well no it's not. It's a reality show about a bunch of drunk 20 year olds or whatever, coming in and pretending they're Southerners," said resident Warren Stedman.

Stedman lives three doors down from King's Krest, on property that has been in his family for more than 100 years.

"I haven't slept in the last couple of days," he said.  "I was very surprised and upset, I mean my heart rate, my blood pressure went up, I just don't know what to do."

He and some other outspoken neighbors believe the whole thing was done behind residents' backs, and now they want to hold someone accountable.

"The county is at fault on this," Stedman said.  "They should have never given the permits out."

Previous story: 'Jersey Shore' creators starting reality show in Murrells Inlet

 

News13 took those concerns to Georgetown County Council Vice Chair Jerry Oakley, who says if any residents are opposed, they are more than welcome to appeal.

"Any citizen who does not agree with the decision of the Zoning Administrator can immediately appeal it to the Board of Zoning Appeals, and that would be my suggestion to anyone who has issue with that decision," Oakley said.

To do that, Oakley says residents have to go to the county's offices, pay a fee, and submit the appeal.

Oakley went on to say that the county does not have the authority to stop someone from filming just because they don't like the nature of the content – that it would be considered a violation of the First Amendment.

The show is planned to air on CMT and according to CMT's website, the show will be called The Dirty South.  However, producers met with county officials Monday and shared a different plan.

"The name apparently is ‘Partying Down South,' we were given to understand that the name ‘Dirty South' was never really considered," Oakley said.  "It was almost a joke just put out there, it was never really considered as a title."

Producers also told them that much of the filming would be done on a few hundred acres of land and a plantation they leased elsewhere in Georgetown County, and they'll only stay at King's Krest for a portion of the time.  They say much of the show will focus on outdoor activities like hunting, fishing and riding four wheelers.

But that's not enough to ease Stedman's concerns.  The fight to protect his home is just beginning.

"It may be a done deal, but I'm going to do everything I can to stop it," Stedman said.

The "renovated century old home" that will be featured in the show rents for $2,600 a week during this part of the year. It is booked through August and a couple of weeks of September.

A rental site says the home sleeps 11 people in 4 bedrooms and notes that it is just a little over 100 feet from Belin United Methodist Church.

"Kings Krest is loaded with character. The home is perfect for those looking to relax with many creature comforts. Make yourself comfortable and enjoy this historic one-of-a kind getaway!" the rental website says.

 

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