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Fellow NYC restaurateur claims 'The Restaurant' scene was staged

By Reality TV World staff, 07/29/2003 

Once again, "Survivor" producer Mark Burnett is being accused of staging a scene for his reality show -- only this time it doesn't involve "Survivor." According to Page Six, an angry NYC restaurateur is claimng that chef Rocco DiSpirito and financier Jeffrey Chodorow faked a scene the "Survivor" producer's new NBC "The Restaurant" reality show.

Angry restaurateur John McDonald claims Rocco DiSpirito and Jeffrey Chodorow faked a dramatic scene in ABC's "The Restaurant," and inaccurately left viewers with the impression that McDonald's Canteen restaurant is closed.

McDonald, who is suing DiSpirito and Chodorow, says that DiSpirito and Chodorow knew at all times he would never get the Canteen restaurant space and that McDonald was in the process on buying out his existing partner. Later, one of the show's scenes showed DiSpirito looking longingly in the eatery's darkened windows, making the restaurant look abandoned. But according to McDonald, the scene was shot at 9 AM when the restaurant is normally closed.

When reached for comment, Burnett stated "Nothing was faked. We were really going to buy Canteen. Rocco was certain he would get it, and was set on it. The process held up production for months." McDonald's rep countered that "this is bad for business because it was portrayed as being closed when that is not the case. Canteen is open and thriving. The scene outside the restaurant was staged."


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