BBC hid the naked truth in pursuit of profit, claim naturists
NATURISTS have accused the BBC of "falsifying history" by putting clothes on the actors appearing in Andrew Marr's History of The World.
British Naturism said that the people of Africa, Ancient Egypt, Australia and other areas of the world would have been naked during many of the periods of history depicted in the reconstructions.
But in what is claimed to be BBC censorship, they are shown wearing costumes of animal skin and cloth often dreamt up by the corporation, says the organisation.
The group is now complaining to parliament after the BBC admitted it had been “obliged” to compromise accuracy to take into account “sensitivities” of audiences.
It described the move as another example of the “once proud bastion of journalistic integrity, sacrificing its reputation for commercial reasons”.
Malcolm Boura, BN's Research and Liaison Officer, said "It is astonishing that the BBC, that once proud bastion of journalistic integrity, should be sacrificing its reputation for commercial reasons.
"The 'world audience' referred to is overseas broadcasters paying the BBC to use programmes.
“We do not pay the BBC licence fee for the systematic falsification of history in the pursuit of profit.
"We do not pay the licence fee to be fed falsehoods intended to appease a misguided minority.
"The BBC is encouraging attitudes known to result in widespread and often serious harm, mainly to children and young people.
"The objective evidence on that is crystal clear. It is inexcusable.”
British Naturism (BN), with 10,500 members, is the UK's officially recognised naturist organisation.
The group said that in the Exodus from Africa, Ancient Egypt, the Minoans, the Caribs, the Australian aborigines, and members of a contemporary South American tribe, the costumes were the product of the BBC censors, not history.
Mr Boura said: "This series is not an isolated case, BBC programmes and the website often self censor to the point of dishonesty.
“Most of the censorship is hidden so without specialist knowledge few people realise what is being done.
"Whatever happened to the BBC's high ideals of education, journalistic integrity, and honesty?
"The BBC considers this conduct acceptable so we have written to the Culture Media and Sport Committee and we are pursuing this lack of honesty through to the BBC Trust as rapidly as possible.”
In a response to the compliant, Paul Kettle from BBC Audience Services, said he was sorry about the “compromises in accuracy” that the corporation felt “obliged” to make in the production of dramatic reconstructions.
"You are of course correct in pointing out that, in reality, natives in various scenes in the early part of the series would have been naked,” he said.
"But in making a series like this we have to take into account the sensitivities of the widest possible world audience."
But a spokesman said it was no excuse.
"The BBC has admitted to the systematic falsification of history for profit and for fear of upsetting anyone,” a spokesman said.
"There are at least six falsifications in the few episodes of Andrew Marr's History of the World that we have reviewed.
"The facts are actually very clear, as the BBC concedes. The costumes in many of the re-enactments are either dubious or quite undeniably false."
Richard Alleyne Telegraph.co.uk