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Thursday, October 13, 2011

"You Can't Send Me to Talk to Gay People Without Warning!": Behind the Scenes with Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy Fieri

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 2:00 PM

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City Pages, our sister paper in the Twin Cities, this week runs a profile of David Page, the journalist turned television producer who created Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives -- and made Guy Fieri a star.

Page's company produced eleven seasons of the smash-hit show before the Food Network dumped him this spring. Page sued, the Food Network countersued, and now the acrimony is so thick that you could cut it with a spike of Fieri's hair.

As you might expect, Page directs much of his scorn toward Fieri.

You must read Gregory Pratt's entire article, but here are some highlights (keeping in mind that both Fieri and the Food Network refused comment):

On his swift rise to fame:
But as his star power grew, Fieri stopped returning Page's phone calls. When NBC hired Fieri to film the primetime game show Minute to Win It, Guy started canceling shoots with Page. A posse of friends -- a bawdy band of homeboys with names like Gorilla, Kleetus, and Dirty P. -- trailed Guy everywhere, and his manager, Tom Nelson, took to calling himself "the consigliore." The group became known as the Garlic Mafia, and Fieri styled himself as the mob boss.
On his attitudes toward women and homosexuals:
"You have to protect Guy from all of his poop jokes," Page says. "Anytime any woman mentioned 'cream,' Guy went into a sexual riff. When cutting the show, you had to tell the editors to watch Guy's eye line, because it's always on breasts."

Fieri also needed protection from homosexuals, or at least advance warning. Early in the show's run, Page got a phone call from Fieri, who'd just walked out of a restaurant in a huff.

"Guy had decided that the two men running the restaurant were life partners," Page remembers. "He said, 'You can't send me to talk to gay people without warning! Those people weird me out!'"

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