Channel 4 documentary 'The Bulger Killers: Was Justice Done?' sparks outrage from viewers
Some viewers of Channel 4's documentary about the killers of James Bulger have reacted with outrage to the programme.
The Bulger Killers: Was Justice Done? aired on Monday night, three days before ITV's documentary featuring Trevor McDonald interviewing James' mother Denise Fergus.
James was just two when he was abducted, tortured, and murdered by two ten-year-old boys – Robert Thompson and Jon Venables - in 1993.
The documentary purported to examine whether 'justice was truly served' and asked if the criminal justice system failed the Bulger family by being too lenient on the murderers or whether it failed the two boys who were 'unable to fully understand the consequences of their actions?'.
Many viewers took issue with the documentary title and with some of the interviewees, including the boys' solicitors, who suggested the boys were victims themselves.
Others took issue with the fact that former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie was also a talking head on the programme.
James' mother Denise Fergus took to Twitter to clarify that she was not involved in the production and directed her followers to her upcoming interview with McDonald for ITV.
Just to let you know that even though footage was used of me on the CH4 programme, I had no part in it.— Denise Fergus (@Denise_fergus) February 5, 2018
My documentary is on Thursday on @ITV with Sir Trevor McDonald.#JusticeForJames
Thursday 8th February @ITV 9pm. James Bulger ...... A Mother’s Story.— Denise Fergus (@Denise_fergus) January 31, 2018
To mark the 25th anniversary of my son's death. I've invited Sir Trevor McDonald into my home, this is my personal interview about the day that changed my life forever.❤ 💙 pic.twitter.com/vnnXEO9PO7
Here are some of the viewers' reactions:
This is ill judged Channel 4. Trying to convince us that James Bulger’s Murderers were a victim of a political youth justice agenda is unbelievably offensive to his mother and our intelligence #TheBulgerKillers— Sophia Cook (@SophiaCook) February 5, 2018
Watching the Channel 4 documentary on the James Bulger killers was a RIDICULOUSLY STUPID idea. Not what you need to watch when you have a toddler of your own - this world can be a catastrophically horrible place— Adam McFarlane (@aj_backrow) February 5, 2018
Using Kelvin Mackenzie as a talking head for the James Bulger documentary is a completely inconsiderate and thoughtless action by Channel 4— Jack Wignall (@J_Wignall_94) February 5, 2018
I am sure that Channel 4 know what happened to James Bulger to the FULL extent. Given this then it is abhorant that they could broadcast a programme giving a modicum of sympathy towards the two people responsible. #JamesBulger #Channel4 @Channel4— David (@David_HMFC) February 7, 2018