After days of social media rumors about “The Real World” coming to Charleston, an MTV insider finally confirmed something: There’s a strong chance.
Preston Charles, a former star on the show and a freelance producer who works with the network, confirmed Friday that MTV is considering Charleston for an upcoming season of the reality show.
Rayna Schwartz, an MTV spokesperson, told The Post and Courier earlier this week that the location of the next season of “The Real World” could not be confirmed by the network.
Though it’s still under wraps, Charles offered reason to believe that MTV will make its Charleston debut soon.
As to how far MTV is from sealing the deal on “The Real World: Charleston,” Charles said, “Let’s say that it’s fairly far along in the process.”
The city of Charleston Cultural Affairs Office and the S.C. Film Commission said this week that MTV has not officially filed for filming permits or tax incentives for filming here. Officials weren’t available for comment late Friday.
While Charles isn’t working with production of “The Real World,” he was able to confirm MTV’s tentative plans because it impacts the fate of another MTV show Charles is working with, which is also set to film here.
“(‘The Real World’) is in direct competition with another MTV show in Charleston that is in development.” Charles said. “The production schedule has not been set, and it may not be set because of ‘The Real World,’ so we’ll have to see.”
Colin Raden, 23, of Charleston, saw the Facebook rumors Wednesday morning and put up a petition on change.org to discourage MTV from filming “The Real World” in Charleston.
By Friday afternoon, the petition had over 4,100 signatures.
“This show really does not have a place in Charleston,” Raden said. “There are a lot of sophisticated, nice and polite people who live here and ‘The Real World’ would misrepresent that.”
Among his other concerns voiced on the web petition, Raden said he’s afraid “The Real World” would add to the congestion in the city that has been caused by film crews with “Reckless.”
Charles said that the concerns voiced by the petition are “not necessarily substantiated.”
“The Real World is typically a very tight-knit production,” he said. “They’ll have one systemic area and then from there, wherever the Real World-ers go, there will be a small camera crew following them. There’s not anything to cause traffic jams or anything of that nature.”
Plus, Charles said MTV makes a point to shine positive light on the cities that house “The Real World” cast and crew.
MTV’s interest in Charleston as a potential setting for next season may have something to do with all the positive attention about its tourism industry.
“I think it’s because of Charleston’s increased profile in recent years. It was voted the No. 1 tourism destination, which makes it a very attractive city for ‘The Real World.’ ”
Whether Charleston locals have a say in the matter at this point, Charles said he wasn’t sure.
“There would have to be a huge public push-back,” he said. “ ‘The Real World’ has not been welcomed in all the cities it’s been to, but still, it happened.”