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City Lets Film Crews Set Up Catering Next To Restaurants With Banned Outdoor Dining

Los Angeles, CA – An angry restaurant owner posted a rant video about the hypocrisy of the pandemic shutdown enforcement in Los Angeles after a film crew set up catering in tents right next to her closed patio (video below).

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti banned all outdoor dining the city in his latest pandemic edict and said restaurants may only offer carry out or delivery after many businesses spent thousands of dollars to come into compliance with the new outdoor dining requirements, The New York Times reported.

Restauranteurs like Angela Marsden, the owner of the Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill in Sherman Oaks, said the county’s ban on outdoor dining is putting them out of business.

Marsden and other restaurant owners had already planned a protest at the home of Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who was called a hypocrite after she was caught eating at her favorite restaurant just hours after she voted to ban outdoor dining at 31,000 restaurants in the county.

“Outdoor dining is probably more dangerous in terms of contagion than any other kind of business,” Kuehl told her colleagues on the day of the vote. “This is a serious health emergency and we must take it seriously.”

So when Marsden went to her restaurant on Saturday morning to pick up supplies for the protest, she was shocked to find the parking lot surrounding her closed business full of tents and tables, The New York Times reported.

“So this is my place, the Pineapple Hill Grill & Saloon. If you go to my [Facebook] page you can see all the work I did for outdoor dining, for tables being seven feet apart,” Marsden said in the video.

“And I come in today because I’m organizing a protest and I came in to get stuff for that,” the furious woman explained.

“And I walk into my parking lot, and obviously Mayor Garcetti has approved… this,” the angry restauranteur pointed to a large setup of tents with tables and chairs beneath them.

“Has approved this being set up for… a movie company,” she said furiously.

The video panned around to show a massive amount of seating had been set up under large tents and more equipment was arriving in trucks as she filmed.

“I’m losing everything,” Marsden said in her video. “Everything I own is being taken away from me and they set up a movie company right next to my outdoor patio, which is right over here.”

“And people wonder why I’m protesting and why I have had enough,” she ranted. “They have not given us money and they have shut us down. We cannot survive, my staff cannot survive.”

“Look at this. Tell me that this is dangerous,” Marsden pointed to her own closed patio setup. “But right next to me, as a slap in my face, that’s safe. This is safe? 15 feet away?”

It turned out that the NBC comedy “Good Girls” was filming nearby and had been given permission to set up to feed the actors and production crew right next to the closed dining tent outside her suffering business, The New York Times reported.

Philip Sokoloski, a spokesman for the company FilmLA who helped manage the film permits, said that the production company had gotten permits from the city for filming and set up the catering site next to Marsden’s restaurant.

The Los Angeles County Health Department justified having issued the permits by explaining that film crews are regularly tested for coronavirus and crew members aren’t congregating for “extended periods of time without their face covering” like at a restaurant, The New York Times reported.

“This is different from restaurants that serve different customers throughout the day,” the health department said.

Garcetti offered what amounted to condolences to the business owners in his city, but didn’t address the hypocrisy of allowing the production company to build a de facto restaurant next to the outdoor patio that had been ordered closed.

“My heart goes out to Ms. Marsden and the workers at the Pineapple Hill Saloon who have to comply with state and county public health restrictions that close outdoor dining,” Mr. Garcetti said. “No one likes these restrictions, but I do support them as our hospital I.C.U. beds fill to capacity and cases have increased by 500%. We must stop this virus before it kills thousands of more Angelenos.”

California has deemed entertainment industry workers as “essential” and production crews are supposed to adhere to a strict list of guidelines, The New York Times reported.

But Marsden said that when she returned to her business later in the day after filming had started, she saw people eating together without masks.

NBC News found itself on the hot seat after they featured Marsden’s video in a segment on “Sunday Today” but failed to mention that the television show the restaurant was upset about was on their network, FOX News reported.

“Reporter Meagan Fitzgerald deceptively edited out Marsden pointing to the hypocrisy with the tents and tables. Worse yet, NBC covered up the fact that the catering was for NBC’s comedy show, ‘Good Girls,’” Nicholas Fondacaro, an analyst at the conservative Media Research Center, wrote.

“Fitzgerald even chided people like Marsden as not important, declaring: ‘Businesses and livelihoods hit hard. But the toughest toll of all, is losing loved ones.’ And at no point did she disclose that the catering was for the NBC comedy show,” Fondacaro added.

Watch Marsden’s video here below:

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Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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