Mike Rowe Defends Filming ‘Dirty Jobs’ Amid Pandemic: ‘America Doesn’t Work Without Work’

by Jon D. B.
Mike Rowe (Photo By Liz Hafalia/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

Mike Rowe opens up on his Dirty Jobs return, saying “Covid was never going to be ‘defeated’ by hunkering down and waiting for the ‘all clear.'”

It’s been a long road to Dirty Jobs‘ return, yet the show is more relevant now than it was leaving the air a decade ago. So much has changed about our daily lives. But as Mike Rowe offers in a letter to fans, “America doesn’t work without work.”

“The jelly ball segment was the first dirty job I’ve filmed since 2012, and it was a rough reentry,” Rowe begins on his official Facebook Jan. 10. “The call time was 3 am. I had flown east the night before and fell asleep around 1:30 am. When the alarm went off an hour later, it occurred to me that I had made a terrible mistake.”

That feeling didn’t last long, however. The impact of filming these dirty jobs for the new season’s Episode 2 far outweighs the trials and tribulations.

“Now, ten months later, I couldn’t be more proud of our decision to move forward with a reboot of this show. Once again, the headlines have caught up to the themes of Dirty Jobs, and I hope the country will benefit from another look at those who have prospered by learning a skill that’s in demand, and putting those skills to work,” Rowe offers.

Mike Rowe Reponds to the ‘Highly Critical’ Folks

At the time of Episode 2’s filming – March of 2021, many of Mike’s fans were “highly critical” of his decision to “film a TV show when so much of the country was still locked down,” the Dirty Jobs icon continues.

“Some still are,” he says. “Just yesterday, I was accused of taking ‘unnecessary risks,’ and ‘needlessly jeopardizing the safety of my crew to deliver a TV show that simply didn’t need to be produced.'”

But in an era when we’re facing the total shutdown of our country on a daily basis, Mike Rowe believes “Those people were wrong then, and they are wrong today.”

By his words, “Covid was never going to be ‘defeated’ by hunkering down and waiting for the all clear. America doesn’t work without work. My crew, and the people featured on this program understood that.”

And as Rowe says, “What a privilege to be in their company.”

His statements come as both a “P.S.” and “P.P.S” to a fascinating, extensive letter to fans amidst Dirty Jobs‘ return. Within, Mike Rowe extends this sentiment further. He says, “It’s worth noting, I think, that during a time when 11 million jobs are currently open… These men never stopped. Not because someone told them they were ‘essential.’ They already knew that. No, these men kept working, because working is what they do, come hell or high water.”