BBC Faces Criticism After Report Finds It Used Deceitful Tactics To Secure Diana Interview
Daina’s sons, Prince Harry and Prince William, both condemned the broadcaster for the harm it caused their mother and the rest of their family.
Report Reveals Deceitful Tactics Used To Secure Interview
Members of the Royal Family and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have issued scathing remarks about the BBC after an investigation found it used “deceitful” tactics in order to secure a now-famous interview with Princess Diana in 1995.
In a 127-page report published Thursday, former British Supreme Court Justice Lord John Dyson found that journalist Martin Bashir forged documents and lied to Diana, as well as her family, in order to book the sit-down interview, which was later viewed by 23 million people in the U.K. The report said that Bashir, who was a little-known name at the time, had a graphic designer falsify bank statements that made it look like members of the Royal Family were being paid to spy on Diana for the press. He then showed those statements to Diana’s brother, Charles, Earl Spencer, and “deceived and induced him to arrange a meeting with Princess Diana.”
The report also claimed that the BBC knew of his misconduct and chose to cover it up, then botched an internal investigation into the matter. The interview catapulted Bashir into a successful career as a journalist, landing him jobs at major American networks before returning to the BBC. He retired just last week, citing health concerns.
“Without justification, the BBC fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark,” Lord Dyson wrote in his report.
Princess Diana’s Sons Speak Out
Diana’s two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, have echoed Dyson’s complaints.
William posted a video on Twitter Thursday saying Bashir’s strategies hurt his mother, his father, and continues to harm the rest of his family. He claimed his tactics “substantially influenced” what she said and ended up being a major influence on his parents’ marital issues.
“It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failure contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her,” he added.
William also said the program should never be aired again as it plays into a false narrative created by the BBC.
Harry lambasted the role the media played in his mother’s struggles as a public figure,ro
and eventually, her death.
“The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life,” he wrote in a statement shared with the press.
“What deeply concerns me is that practices like these, and even worse, are still widespread today,” he continued. “Then, and now, it’s bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication. Our mother lost her life because of this and nothing has changed. By protecting her legacy we protect everyone, and uphold the dignity with which she lived her life.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked Lord Dyson for conducting the report and said he was similarly “very concerned” by its findings.
“I can only imagine the feelings of the Royal Family and I hope very much that the BBC will be taking every possible step to make sure nothing like this ever happens again,” he said in a statement.
What Happened During the 1995 Interview?
During the interview, Diana made history by speaking very openly about her mental health, struggles with bulimia, problems within her marriage, and the cold shoulder she felt from the royal family. She told Bashir that the palace viewed her as a “threat of some kind.”
Regarding her marriage she also said, “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” referring to herself, her husband Prince Charles, and Camilla Parker Bowles, Charles’ now-wife whom he was having affair with throughout his relationship with Diana.
Many have since compared that interview to the tell-all Diana’s son, Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan Markle did with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year. The couple openly criticized the palace and the severe toll being a member of the Royal Family takes on a person’s mental wellbeing. Meghan also described feelings of isolation similar to the ones Diana spoke of when it came to being an outsider in the family.
The BBC Apologizes for Ethical Lapse
The BBC has issued apologies to William, Harry, Prince Charles, and Diana’s brother regarding the harm the 1995 interview may have caused. Tim Davie, the current director-general of the BBC issued a statement giving apologies to the public as well.
“The BBC should have made greater effort to get to the bottom of what happened at the time and been more transparent about what it knew,” he said. “While the BBC cannot turn back the clock after a quarter of a century, we can make a full and unconditional apology.”
Bashir has faced questions about how he obtained the interview for several years. He released a statement Thursday saying he had previously apologized and will “do so again now” for forging bank statements.
“It was a stupid thing to do and was an action I deeply regret,” he said. However, he did claim that these fake documents had no impact on Diana’s choice to sit down with him, and added that she was overall happy with the interview.
Still, backlash from British leaders continues. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that he will “consider whether further governance reforms at the BBC are needed in the mid-term Charter review.”
See what others are saying: (New York Times) (The Hollywood Reporter) (NPR)
Max to Agrees to “Properly” Credit Writers and Directors After Facing Backlash For Lumping Them in As “Creators”
The company said the credits were laid out incorrectly due to “an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max.”
After film and television writers slammed Max for crediting all writers, producers, and directors as general “creators” on its platform, the company said it will be adjusting its credits display.
“We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserve their work to be properly recognized,” the streaming service said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Max — the new rebrand of HBO Max that incorporates Discovery content — launched on Tuesday to much criticism. Amid glitches and app-switching confusion, the biggest backlash it faced was over the choice to lump creative roles into one credit section called “creators.” As one viral tweet noted, if a user were to select the film “Raging Bull,” the service’s display would not specifically credit Martin Scorsese as the director, rather, his name would be included at random with half a dozen other people, including writers and producers.
The decision was condemned by many in the industry who argued it minimizes writers and directors by not properly giving them credit where it is due. Especially amid the ongoing writers’ strike, and with directors and actors starting negotiations with studios, some took it as a slap in the face.
“The studios don’t want anyone to know our names,” writer Christina Strain tweeted. “It’s easier to pay us nothing if we’re faceless.”
“Another move from studios to diminish the role of writers, directors, actors and other craftspeople. Miss me wit this nonsense,” Jorge Rivera, the Vice-Chair of the Writers Guild’s Latinx Writers Committee, added.
In a statement, Directors Guild President Lesli Linka Glatter said that Warner Bros. Discovery’s choice to “collapse” these roles into one credit “while we are in negotiations with them is a grave insult to our members and our union.”
“The DGA will not stand for it,” Glatter continued.
WGA West President Meredith Stiehm claimed the move was “a credits violation,” as well as an insult “to the artists that make the films and TV shows that make their corporation billions.”
On Wednesday, Max said it would rework its crediting.
“We will correct the credits, which were altered due to an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max and we apologize for this mistake,” the platform said.
See what others are saying: (Gizmodo) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Los Angeles Times)
A Quarter of Young British Men Support Andrew Tate’s Thoughts on Women
U.K. residents at large, however, do not view him favorably.
Even under house arrest in Romania, misogynist influencer Andrew Tate still holds substantial sway over young men.
According to data from YouGov that was obtained by The Independent, 26% of U.K. men between 18 and 29 years old who know of Tate agree with his views on women. That figure was largely the same for men between 30 and 39, as 28% agreed with Tate’s opinions on the subject.
Men in their 30s were slightly more likely to agree with Tate on his thoughts about masculinity. Three out of ten supported those views, compared to just a quarter of men 18 to 29.
Those statistics only include the thoughts of men who have heard of Tate, but per YouGov, most have. In the 18 to 29 group, 93% were familiar with him, and 86% of men in their 30s knew of him.
The U.K. at large was less aware of Tate, with just 63% of British adults having heard of him. Of that group, only 6% held a positive view of him.
Tate has faced substantial backlash for his sexist rhetoric over the years. In the past, he said that men should have “authority” over their wives or girlfriends, and that women should “bear some responsibility” for being raped. He was previously banned from Twitter over his extremist views on women but has since been allowed back on the platform.
He is currently being investigated in Romania for organized crime and human trafficking. He was arrested and held in custody in December but was released to house arrest earlier this year. No formal charges have been filed against him yet and he has maintained his innocence.
Tate currently boasts a Twitter following of 6.7 million. It has grown significantly since he was enveloped in legal controversy, and many of his supporters have demanded his release.
See what others are saying: (The Independent) (Glamour U.K.)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Involved in “Near Catastrophic” Paparazzi Chase
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” a spokesperson for the couple said.
“Aggressive” Paparazzi Chase Couple in New York
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were involved in a “near catastrophic” paparazzi car chase Tuesday night in New York City, according to a spokesperson for the couple.
In a statement, the spokesperson described the photographers as “highly aggressive.”
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” the statement added.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” it continued.
Details of the incident are still emerging, but BBC News reported that there are claims the chase involved roughly six cars driving recklessly by running red lights, driving on the sidewalk, carrying out blocking moves, going backward on a one-way road, and taking pictures while driving.
The chase happened after Harry and Meghan were leaving the Women of Vision Awards with Meghan’s mother, Doria. They did not want photographers to learn where they were staying and attempted to avoid them in what turned into a 75-minute chase on a main road in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. They eventually ducked into a New York Police Department Precinct to hide out before getting into a different vehicle.
The NYPD released a statement confirming that they assisted in protecting the couple as “numerous photographers” hindered their transport. Officials said they made it to their destination and there were no collisions, injuries, or arrests.
The couple’s spokesperson is asking the public to not share or post footage of the incident.
“Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved,” the spokesperson said.
Memories of Princess Diana
The chase evokes the brutal press hounding Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was subjected to throughout her life. The paparazzi’s obsession with her ultimately resulted in her death in 1997, when she was killed in a car crash after being chased by photographers in Paris.
Since marrying Meghan and later bowing out of the Royal Family, Harry has made it explicitly clear that he fears those events could happen again. Meghan has been the subject of endless tabloid scrutiny, enduring racism and harassment from the press. Part of the reason they left the Royal Family was to keep their family protected from such attacks.
Mayor Eric Adams brought up Diana’s tragic passing while speaking about Tuesday night’s chase.
“I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how [Harry’s] mom died,” Adams said while speaking to reporters. “And it would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander during a chase like this and something to have happened to them as well…I think that was a bit reckless and irresponsible.”
Adams also questioned whether or not he believes a chase could go on for two hours in a city as congested as New York, but noted that even a 10-minute chase would be dangerous. He said he will be briefed on the exact timeline and details later.