BBC pulls Human Planet documentary for inaccurate portrayal of whale hunter - iMediaEthics

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BBC's Human Planet (Credit: Amazon)

The BBC found another problem with its 2011 documentary program Human Planet. In early April, the BBC acknowledged its program had a staged scene; now, the BBC says there’s an inaccurate “portrayal” of a whale hunter.

In early April, the BBC explained that it learned about the first problem with the 2011 documentary because a tribe member told the BBC during the filming of a new documentary. In addition, the Guardian noted that in 2015, the BBC said it used a “semi-domesticated wolf” as a wild wolf in the program.

A BBC source told iMediaEthics that the BBC learned of the problems with the program after  a U.S. journalist, who knows the tribe member shown in the program, told the BBC the tribe member, Benjamin Blikololiong, said the program was inaccurate. The source said that the BBC decided to pull the program since there have been three editorial issues with it.  iMediaEthics typically doesn’t attribute information to a “source” but in this case we do so because we couldn’t get the BBC on the record to explain what happened.

In a statement posted on its website, the BBC said,

“The BBC has been alerted to a further editorial breach in the Human Planet series from 2011. In episode one, Oceans, a Lamaleran whale hunter named Benjamin Blikololong is shown supposedly harpooning a whale. On review, the BBC does not consider that the portrayal of his role is accurate, although the sequence does reflect how they hunt whales.

“The BBC has decided to withdraw Human Planet from distribution for a full editorial review. Since this programme was broadcast in 2011, we have strengthened our training for the BBC’s Natural History Unit in editorial guidelines, standards and values.”

Hat Tip: The Guardian

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BBC pulls Human Planet documentary for inaccurate portrayal of whale hunter

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