The Fox TV reality series “The Simple Life” will not be using a South Jersey school as the setting for one of its episodes.
“The show will not come to Cleary School,” Buena Regional School District Superintendent Diane DeGiacomo said Monday night.
“They needed a commitment from us right away, and we didn’t feel like we could do that,” she said.
The proposed filming had provoked opposition from parents who felt it wasn’t appropriate and feared that it would hold their community up to ridicule.
Producers of the show starring hotel heiress Paris Hilton and her friend Nicole Richie had approached school officials in December, offering to pay $5,000 to film an episode at a school in the mostly rural community 30 miles west of Atlantic City.
The third season, which premieres Jan. 26, will have Hilton and Richie traveling the country trying their hand as interns at various jobs. The idea for the Buena episode was to have the pair work as substitute teachers and cafeteria monitors at the J.P. Cleary Middle School.
School district officials initially were amenable to the idea, and permission forms and a letter from the show’s production company were sent home to parents.
But some parents responded angrily, saying the co-stars weren’t fit role models.
“I just feel that it’s ludicrous that the Board of Education and the administration would invite Paris Hilton to teach 11-, 12-and 13-year-olds, and Nicole Richie, too,” parent Sue Barber said last week. “Their reputation leaves a lot to be desired.”
DeGiacomo said producers had reached a mutual decision with school officials to shelve the idea.
She said she believed that a majority of the community didn’t object to the show being done there, and noted that 340 parents had returned forms giving their children permission to participate, while only 34 had said no.