HARNEY COUNTY, Or. – From the creators of the popular Fox reality TV series Paradise Hotel and Househusbands of Hollywood comes the true story of two simple-minded ranchers turned Constitutional defenders. Set entirely within the confines of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon’s Harney Basin, We Took an Oath: The Story of the Modern-Day Minutemen gives viewers an exclusive look at the minds behind the Oregon standoff.
Starring the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, a small band of farmers led by forty year-old rancher and armchair constitutional scholar Ammon Bundy, the show chronicles the nail-biting and often tedious realities associated with an armed standoff against the federal government.
Select news organizations including Real News Right Now, were invited to attend a private screening of the show’s pilot episode with executive producer Jesus Rodriguez. During a brief Q&A with the media, Rodriguez explained that while under the cover of darkness, Fox’s filmmakers entered the wildlife refuge and installed dozens of cameras in and around the complex. “There were these armed militia guys escorting our people around throughout the entire process,” Rodriguez said. “They were quite certain that federal agents were lurking in the shadows, ready to emerge and engage them at any moment.”
Despite being the show’s executive producer, Rodriguez was not permitted access to the refuge due to fears expressed by the militiamen that federal authorities, upon seeing a “dark-skinned individual,” would violently storm the refuge and eliminate the entire group.
Sandra Brinkley, an attorney who represents both Mr. Bundy and Mr. Ritzheimer, told TMZ on Sunday that the two men were ‘in the right to ban Rodriguez from the set.’ In fact, Ms. Brinkley said, her clients almost backed out of the deal with Fox entirely. “There was some disagreement over compensation,” Ms. Brinkley said, adding that her clients explicitly stated they would not do the reality show for anything less than $30 million. However, after some deliberation, the pair settled for $25 million each plus royalties.
We Took an Oath: The Story of the Modern-Day Minutemen is expected to premiere this September on Fox as part of the network’s Fall TV lineup.