BBC apologises for misleading viewers in Great Bear Stakeout
Tuesday 03 December 2013
The BBC has apologised after "misleading" viewers in a natural history documentary.
An episode of the BBC One show, Great Bear Stakeout, showed footage of a grizzly bear cub drowning in the ocean and then included film of an expert guide "apparently watching and commenting on the scene as it unfolded in front of him" even though it was actually filmed after the incident.
It comes after the corporation ran into trouble two years ago when it used footage of newborn polar bears filmed in a zoo in the Frozen Planet series.
A report by the BBC Executive said the problem was only "flagged up" when the guide, Chris Morgan, was due to be interviewed about the drowning scene on a radio show.
It said: "A sequence was subsequently shot and later included in the transmitted programme showing Chris Morgan apparently watching and commenting on the scene as it unfolded in front of him and the cameraman. In reality, Chris Morgan was not on location when the events took place. Therefore his comments and the impression that he actually witnessed the events first hand were misleading."
The show was removed from BBC iPlayer and re-edited and an apology from executive producer Gavin Henderson ran on the programme's web page.
He said: "While the wildlife sequence is accurate and faithfully portrays the real events that the crew witnessed, the inclusion of the bear guide is misleading and having identified this, we have now re-edited the sequence to remove the bear guide.
"All further BBC repeats will be of this updated version. As the executive producer, please accept my apologies for this mistake."
The BBC's Natural History Unit said it now required all its staff to "complete safeguarding trust and safeguarding values training" and it was in the process of creating a "gold standard code of practice" to prevent further mistakes.
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