The American city of Baltimore, Maryland, is notorious for its significantly high crime rate which ranks well above the national average. It has also been the focus of several investigations into crime reporting. In 2003, the FBI identified irregularities in the number of rapes reported, with the number of homicides in 2005 appearing to exhibit discrepancies as well. Accusations were made that the administration suppressed corrections to its crime reports. There was further scrutiny in 2006, this time from Maryland legislators. Baltimore is known and infamous.
So it is with a sense of inevitability that news comes that production of the Apple TV+ series Lady in the Lake was halted in the city on Friday after the series received threats of violence.
The Baltimore police department confirmed the details. A group of locals contacted producers working a shoot on Park Avenue in the downtown area at 4 pm on Friday and threatened to return in the evening to shoot somebody if production didn’t cease.
The demand was received to pay $50,000 to the group of locals or production would not be allowed to continue. Producers decided to reschedule filming and look for another location after receiving the message, according to the police department. They said cast and crew safety is their number one priority.
Natalie Portman, Moses Ingram, Y’Lan Noel, Mikey Madison, and Brett Gelman star in the series which is based on the Laura Lippman novel that is set in Baltimore in 1966. Production began in April and was expected to wrap later this years.
Laura Lippman has the inside track on Baltimore. Her husband is The Wire creator David Simon. Simon had this to say via social media:
“Not my production. Don’t know all details. But we shot 200 hours of television over two decades. Communicated where we shot. Always a few loudmouths hyping; always folks in crew –locations, security, BPD — trained to firmly but respectfully respond. Baltimore is good people.”
Portman is an executive producer.