The BBC has deleted from Twitter a trailer for an ESPN original documentary series on South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius after it failed to mention the name of his dead wife Reeva Steenkamp.
The BBC press office posted The Trials Of Oscar Pistorius trailer at 10AM local time on Tuesday, but following a backlash, the broadcaster removed the promotional clip and expressed regret at the matter.
In a statement, the BBC said: “We regret that the original trail did not refer to Reeva Steenkamp directly. We are aware of the upset it has caused, which was never the intention
“We have removed the trail and it will be replaced by something more representative of the series, which examines in detail a number of complex issues connected to her murder.”
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We have removed the trail for ‘The Trials of Oscar Pistorius’ that was posted on social media earlier today: https://t.co/LL9pRCjvEc pic.twitter.com/pZIMjXpVqE
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) October 27, 2020
Before the take-down, a number of Twitter uses criticized the BBC and pointed out that Pistorius is referred to as “a really nice guy” in the clip.
“No one says Reeva Steenkamp’s name in this trailer, or speaks for her. In seven years with all that’s supposedly changed about editorial practice and how we talk about these stories, she’s just back to being the unnamed girlfriend,” said historian Dr Fern Riddell. Domestic abuse campaigner David Challen called the clip “tone-deaf.”
The trailer was an edited version of ESPN’s original promotional clip, which does not mention Steenkamp either (see below). The ESPN documentary was titled The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius.
Produced by Very Much So, in association with the BBC, Ventureland and Passion Pictures, The Trials Of Oscar Pistorius traces the athlete’s fall from grace after he shot dead his girlfriend Steenkamp in the small hours of February 14, 2013, in his home in Pretoria, South Africa.
The series is directed by BAFTA-winner Daniel Gordon (Hillsborough) and produced by John Battsek (Searching For Sugar Man). It premieres on BBC iPlayer on November 7 and will air on BBC Two at a later date.
iPlayer controller Dan McGolpin said: “This incredible documentary series provides new perspectives on the terrible events of Valentine’s Day 2013, giving us a deeper and closer look at one of the world’s most remarkable sporting figures, on the South Africa that he grew up in and the media circus that surrounded his trial for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.”