Producer says host rails against women
Dec. 5, 2002
Ayesha Morris
Staff Writer




A Bowie Community Television producer says she and other women have been verbally assaulted by fellow producers at the city's studio.

Natasha Small, producer of PageWriters, a TV show about writing books, alleged this week that she and her daughter, have endured epithet-filled tirades from MCW Rage TV wrestling show host Jeff Jones two months ago.

Small's accusation is the second complaint filed with the city against MCW Rage TV's host by BCTV personnel in the past few weeks.

Small said she believes the mayor and city staff have failed to adequately address Jones' conduct, which she feels is specifically geared towards women.

"I bet there haven't been any complaints about [Jones and his crew] jumping on men because he's a bully, and that's what bullies do--pick on those weaker than them," said Small, whose show aired on BCTV until the city suspended the public access station's funding.

"And, by the mayor keeping silent on it, he is exonerating this bully and saying that their behavior is acceptable in City Hall," she said.

The city studio is located in City Hall.

In a letter addressed to the city manager's office by Bethany Folling, producer of the Young Entrepreneurs show and Small's daughter detailed the "abrasive nature and foul language" she encountered on Oct. 1 at the city studio.

According to Folling, when she asked Jones when she could use the studio equipment, Jones allegedly proceeded to cuss, saying she'd have access once two wrestling tapes were "[Expletive] damned done, [expletive]!"

The Bowie Star obtained a copy of Folling's letter. In it, she wrote that in the Oct. 1 incident: "Jones spoke to me like I was beneath the lice on his dog. It was definitely inhuman and altogether derogatory."

Later the same day, Small said she spoke to studio manager Jim Travland about the incident with Folling. Travland allegedly verbally accosted Small and MCW Rage TV crew members physically confronted her, she alleged.

While sitting near the studio's dub room, Small said Jones, a 200 pound-plus former male wrestler, physically moved up within an inch of her face and hollered at her to get out as his coworkers also approached, Small said.

"I was surrounded by wrestlers as I sat in that studio and I was helpless," Small said Tuesday.

Jones of Rage TV could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Two weeks after the Folling's letter of complaint, Assistant City Managers John Fitzwater and Denise Mahoney sent a written response to all participants.

"It would be an impossible task for us to determine whose perspective best fits the reality of what occurred that day... we have concluded that the behavior of each of the individuals involved was inappropriate," they wrote.

Mayor G. Fred Robinson said he had heard nothing further about the complaint since Fitzwater and Mahoney had sent out their letter.

"Staff looked into it and advised all parties directly on the standard of behavior that prohibits uncivil behavior," Robinson said Wednesday.

Small's accusations came on the heels of complaints filed by former BCTV head Milly Hall that alleged Jones could be using the city studio to produce questionable tapes for sale over the Internet. Hall also took issue with what she called pornographic-like images on the Rage TV web site. Jones and Maryland Championship Wrestling denied any links to pornographic material.

City staff admitted that it was possible that Rage TV members were using the city studio to assist a commercial venture, but sent out new policy guidelines to alert all producers that to do so in the future would be illegal.

Small said she believes the city has largely blown her off.

"As a productive citizen of the community, I do not appreciate being treated like I'm invisible and as if a violent act has not been committed against me," said Small.

E-mail Ayesha Morris at amorris@gazette.net.

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