A four-part feature on the story of Oscar Pistorius has garnered negative reviews from audiences who watched it via BBC over the weekend. Called ‘The Trials of Oscar Pistorius’, the documentary has been slammed for shedding “too positive and sympathetic” a light on the Paralympian despite being found guilty of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
The documentary aired in the UK over the weekend, and is produced by ESPN. Many described it as “uncomfortable to watch” and criticised the producers for completely leaving out Steenkamp’s murder. An op-ed in The Guardian called out the BBC for portraying a male perpetrator as “misunderstood” and completely ignoring the violent crime he committed against his partner.
According to Sonia Sodha, who wrote The Guardian’s article, the director of this documentary is on the record saying he “still flip-flopping” on Pistorius’s innocence, despite a court having found him guilty for murder.
It’s early in to the documentary but im finding this way too sympathetic to Oscar Pistorius. #OscarPistorius
— markgrant (@bigglesgr) November 8, 2020
@MultiChoiceGRP and @ESPNAfrica have a looming PR disaster on its hands if going to go ahead to show this on @DStv from 19 November. Viewers in the United Kingdom beyond shocked at the documentary series that started on the @BBC and that sides with killer Oscar Pistorius. https://t.co/1NlcLRW5Wl
— TVwithThinus (@TVwithThinus) November 9, 2020
There’s definitely a documentary to be made about the Oscar Pistorius case but Jesus Christ this isn’t it. Whoever decided to paint him in such sympathetic light needs to have a long look in the mirror. So tone deaf. I won’t be watching anymore
— Shaun Curran (@shaun_curran) November 8, 2020
Who made this Oscar Pistorius documentary, his defence lawyer?
— Harrie ‘Hayes’ (@harriehayes) November 8, 2020
Man, I’d heard this BBC Oscar Pistorius documentary was bad for glorifying him, and yes it is, but I didn’t expect a terrible brief history on how violent apartheid military rule meant it would have been really hard for him growing up as a scared rich white South African 🙃🙃
— Marva (@MarvaMSK) November 8, 2020
The documentary is yet to air in South Africa, but many of those in the UK who had watched it advised ESPN not to allow it to air in other countries, as viewers believe the negative backlash will only build.
So far, the channel has not decided to remove the documentary from its scheduling and it is planned to be aired in four parts from November 19 till December 10 on DStv.
If you want to view the documentary, the airing schedule is as follows:
– Part 1: Thursday, November 19 at 8pm.
– Part 2: Thursday, November 26 at 8pm.
– Part 3: Thursday, December 3 at 8pm.
– Part 4: Thursday, December 10 at 8pm.
Repeats of every episode will be broadcast on each following Sunday, from 8pm.