JACL Objects to “Diggers” Reality Program Filming at Rohwer Concentration Camp Site

"Rohwer, AR 71666" by Joseph, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Rohwer, AR 71666” by Joseph, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

JACL wrote to Half Yard Productions company to dissuade them from filming an episode of their “Diggers” reality program at Rohwer in Arkansas, the site of a World War II Japanese American concentration camp. The reality program features hosts who prowl historic areas in search of artifacts and valuables. JACL expressed concern that the cast members would damage the site and encourage others to similarly search the site for souvenirs. In his letter, JACL Midwest Director Bill Yoshino said, “Rohwer is a place where people lost their dignity and their liberty… it is a place where American betrayed its own people in an action driven by fear and racism. It is a place where JACL would abhor any venture that may trivialize or mock the historic significance of what occurred there so many years ago.”

JACL also submitted a letter to Mayor-Elect Jeff Owyoung of McGehee, Arkansas opposing the filming.

Subsequently, JACL received word from Half Yard Productions that they will not be filming “Diggers” at Rohwer. Half Yard Productions co-owner Abby Greensfelder wrote in her reply, “Our production team reached out to various parties to discuss the possibility of filming at Rohwer… we decided that we would not proceed with this story and will not therefore be filming there.” Ms. Greensfelder further stated, “I appreciate your concerns but would also like to assure you that should any filming have taken place our team and host would in no way have trivialized or mocked what happened there nor would they have damaged the site in any way.”

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