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BBC Faces Criticism After Report Finds It Used Deceitful Tactics To Secure Diana Interview

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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)

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Dave Chappelle Decides Against Having Former High School’s Theater Named After Him

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“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” the comedian reportedly said.


Theater Named Announced

Comedian Dave Chappelle opted on Monday to not have the theater at his alma mater high school named after him, according to a report from The Washington Post

The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. previously planned to name its theater in honor of Chappelle, as he is a distinct alum and donor. While Chappelle formerly said such a gesture would be “the most significant honor of [his] life,” he announced during Monday’s naming ceremony that it would bear a different title. 

The school’s theater will instead be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression. 

A naming ceremony was initially set to take place in November, but was postponed after the comedian began facing backlash for transphobic jokes in his Netflix special “The Closer.”

Among other things, he said he was “Team TERF,” which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. He also made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner and remarks comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.

The jokes embroiled Chappelle in controversy, and reports claimed that some students at Duke Ellington took issue with the comments. When Chappelle ended up visiting the school amid the scandal, Politico reported that one student told the comedian, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child.”

Chappelle Defends Controversial Special 

According to The Post, Chappelle said the criticism against him “sincerely” hurt, but added that “the Ellington Family is my family.” He claimed he did not want the theater being named after him to distract students. 

“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” he said according to Josh Rogin, a columnist for the outlet.

Rogin also tweeted that Chappelle took time out of the ceremony to slam the criticisms levied against him, accusing upset students of promoting someone else’s agenda. 

“These kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression,” he reportedly said. 

“You cannot report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuance,” Chappelle continued while denouncing the press coverage of his Netflix special. 

According to David Frum, a staff writer for The Atlantic who attended the ceremony, Chappelle suggested he was open to potentially adding his name to the theater at a later date when the community is ready. 

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (Variety) (The Atlantic)

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Chris Evans Says People Upset With Same-Gender “Lightyear” Kiss Are “Idiots”

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The kiss was previously removed from the film until a surge of backlash from Pixar employees prompted Disney to reinstate it. 


Chris Evans Supports “Lightyear” Scene

“Lightyear” star Chris Evans is standing against people who have criticized the same-gender kiss scene in the upcoming Pixar film. 

“The real truth is those people are idiots,” the actor told Reuters this week when discussing negative reactions to the scene’s inclusion. 

“The American story, the human story is one of constant social awakening and growth and that’s what makes us good,” he continued. 

Countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and more have banned the release of “Lightyear” over the kiss, which is between two women. Right-wing pundits in the U.S. have also slammed it, and user reviews for the picture on websites like IMDB have claimed that movie-going has “become an avenue for political propaganda.”

Evans argued those opinions are outdated. 

“There’s always going to be people who are afraid and unaware and trying to hold on to what was before. But those people die off like dinosaurs,” he said. “I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human.”

“Lightyear” hits theaters on Friday starring Evans as the titular Buzz Lightyear. Evans, however, is not playing the action figure made famous in the “Toy Story” movies and is instead playing an animated human astronaut who inspired the toy.

Kiss Scene Almost Never Made it to Big Screen

According to outlets that have reviewed the film, the same-gender kiss is between Alisha Hawthorne, a character voiced by Uzo Aduba, and her wife. 

Multiple reports have stated that Disney was always supportive of depicting a gay couple in the picture, but was more hesitant about showing an on-screen kiss between the two. The studio previously had the scene removed from the film until a swell of backlash prompted it to reinstate the kiss.

The decision came in March amid criticisms over Disney’s slow response to Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill. At the time, a group of Pixar employees wrote an open letter claiming that they have pushed for more inclusion in their films, but “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest.” 

Now that the scene made the final cut of “Lightyear,” it has been a large topic of conversation leading up to the film’s release. On Monday, Evans told Variety that the inclusion of the scene makes him “happy,” but he hopes one day, scenes like this will be considered standard. 

“It’s tough to not be a little frustrated that it even has to be a topic of discussion,” he said. “That it is this kind of ‘news.’ The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is.”

See what others are saying (Reuters) (Variety) (IndieWire)

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YouTube Shorts Hits 1.5 Billion Monthly Logged-In Users 

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The company says the success of Shorts is bringing more viewers to its long-form content.


YouTube Shorts Reaches Milestone

Less than two years after its launch, YouTube Shorts is reaching 1.5 billion logged-in users every month, according to reports from TechCrunch and Variety on Wednesday.

YouTube launched its Shorts feature to compete with TikTok, the social media app that has taken over the internet with its bite-sized content. Its effort appears to be successful, as these new numbers put YouTube Shorts on track with the Gen Z-beloved app. 

In September 2021, TikTok announced it had reached one billion monthly users. It has not released updated data since, but analysts projected it could reach 1.5 billion sometime in 2022. 

While Shorts were created to rival the trending content on TikTok, YouTube has remained committed to the long-form content that has served as the platform’s bread and butter. In its announcement, the company touted that Shorts served as an entryway for viewers to watch more of this long-form content and discover new creators along the way. 

In a release, YouTube said the synergy built by this expansion has allowed for “the rise of the multiformat creator.”

“Long-form content remains the best way for creators to deeply engage and develop long-term relationships with their audiences,” Tara Walpert Levy, YouTube’s Vice President of the Americas, said in a statement. “But Shorts offer an exciting, new way to be a part of a viewer’s journey and to introduce themselves and their whole portfolio to new audiences. This approach is yielding real results; channels uploading both short and long-form content are seeing better overall watch time and subscriber growth than those uploading only one format.”

The Competition Posed by TikTok

For its part, YouTube put a lot of effort into making Shorts thrive on its platform. Among other measures, the company created a $100 million fund incentivizing creators to make the quick videos. 

The Google-owned video giant is far from the only social media company to try to wrestle with TikTok’s success. Facebook and Instagram began rolling out Reels two years ago while TikTok was experiencing a surge of pandemic users. 

In turn, TikTok has also made changes to its app to keep up with other social platforms. Recently, it extended its maximum video length to ten minutes, meaning its short-form content may not always be so short. 

By using short videos to drive more power behind longer content, YouTube is hoping to cover both bases. Neal Mohan, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer, said that even though the company is only at “the beginning” of its journey with Shorts, he knows “the product will continue to be an integral part of the YouTube experience moving forward.”

See what others are saying: (TechCrunch) (Variety) (The Verge)

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