Sparks were flying in Vancouver, where ABC’s MacGyver shoots. According to executive producer Steve Downing, when the series’ team filmed the Nov. 6 episode last month, there were taunts to “go back to America” by a representative of the Chinese consulate based in the Canadian city.
Downing explains that, in the episode, the roommate of a foster daughter of MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson) had sponsored informs him his foster daughter has been killed in the massacre at Tiananmen Square. She enlists his aid in establishing a fax machine network to replace the one the Chinese government has shut down, and she has smuggled a tape out of China showing the atrocities committed by government troops (actual news footage from Tiananmen Square is being used).
“We’d rented a building in Vancouver,” says Downing, “and dressed it like the Chinese consulate for part of our story. I got a call from the Chinese consul. He said that they were very upset about what we were doing and that our set was making everyone confused about where the real consulate was.” Downing adds, “The Royal Canadian Mounted Police told us representatives of the Chinese consulate had called them to complain. But there was no mistaking our rented building for the consulate. We had big signs outside saying, ‘This is a MacGyver set’.”
Marllyn Beck, TV Guide – Insider Grapevine, 6 Jan. 1990