First, lets look at what Jon Taffer had to say about the video:
- A fan recently asked Jon Taffer on Twitter: "how did you get the o’face bar footage of the fights at the end? Seemed really staged and fake"
- To which Jon responded: "Nothing is staged of faked on the show. That video came from someone who will remain unnamed."
So, Jon is going with an unnamed source for how they obtained the video.
Hit That Dive from Omaha was at the bar when the episode aired and followed up with a few interviews of the bar's employees.
- I asked him to find out where Jon Taffer got the video of the slap.
- He later tweeted: "The "fight" between #ofacebar owner and his employee Dave was from their audition tape when #BarRescue wanted "MORE DRAMA". #Fake"
- Steve from Hit That Dive also commented on the original O'Face post regarding Matt slapping Dave, stating: "I just got this from Amanda..."Steve that was a clip from our audition tape when they wanted "more drama". AKA...staged."
Hit That Dive is saying that through talking with employees, the video was from their audition tape for Bar Rescue.
Finally, Dave, who is the bartender on the episode that got slapped by Matt has responded to multiple people about it on his Facebook page, and here are some of his comments:
- Comment 1 - "We were all drunk for the show & that was our viewing for john taff to decide if he wanted to come or not the producers pushed us to have drama to influnce john to come . So really im gonna let someone slap me n not do nothing ha ha u know better. Thx mike ur good people also"
- Comment 2 about him not fighting back "Omg 4 real if you dont think 4 once i would not come back with a right hook if ever slapped? Come on 4 real"
- Comment 3 saying the fight was for show - "Wow mike u have no reason to say that bout my boss didnt u read my post it was for show & he would never do that & mike if it did i can handle my own so no reason to have attitude towards him."
- The owner Karen even weighed in saying, "What part don't people get that the fight wasn't real"
So that leaves everyone to form their own opinion on where the video came from and if it was real/fake.
Here is mine. When Bar Rescue comes to a city, they tell multiple bars they are under consideration and that Jon will be coming to 1 of the 3 bars (see question 3 in this link). This probably encourages the bars to do things that they think will make for good TV in hopes of getting picked over the other bars. Producers probably told this to O'Face, so they decided to stage not 1, but 2 fights in hopes of getting a free makeover. This also lets Jon Taffer claim that nothing is scripted as they do not tell people what to do, but let them know they need to be interesting to be picked.
The camera quality and sound quality on the video of Matt slapping Dave is pretty good and not too shaky as you normally see on regular Youtube videos. Also, there is no reaction from the camera operator filming this fight (no narration or "Ohhhhh") and the other people besides Bryan in the video don't react either. So, I will buy that it was staged and that assume that Bar Rescue producers are the ones that filmed the fight. I don't think there was an "unnamed source" that provided Jon with the video of this. Whether Jon knew about this fight the first day or found out later could be debated I guess, but you would assume he would have known.
If you look at the additional videos of O'Face on the Spike website like this one, you will see that Jon was genuinely giving them advice, so I don't think the bar was being used to be walked out on. I think maybe Jon got fed up with everyone after dealing with them for 4 days, and used the fight video that they had as the excuse to stop helping them.
*If you are interesting in watching the video of the slap again, fast forward to 37:15 on the episode at the Spike website (warning - it will make you watch 5 commercials first).