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Filmmaker Ken Burns calls Mark Zuckerberg an ‘enemy of the state’

The PBS documentary filmmaker attacked the Facebook executive, claiming that he ‘doesn’t give a s*** about us, the United States’

Nadja Sayej
Thursday 05 August 2021 07:55 BST

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is not a fan of Mark Zuckerberg.

Burns recently said in a podcast interview with The New York Times tech journalist Kara Swisher that Zuckerberg is “an enemy of the state” who he hopes to see incarcerated.

"This is an enemy of the state, and I mean the United States of America,” explained Burns. “He doesn’t give a s*** about us, the United States. He knows he can transcend it. He can get away to any place. And so it’s just about filthy lucre, that’s it."

Burns also criticised Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, calling her “complicit”.

“The Nuremberg of this, is if it ever happens, which it won’t, will be pretty interesting," said Burns. "The way that we’ve been able to temporise and say, ‘Oh, it’s OK, we’ll just go a little bit further,’ right?"

Last month, Burns was interviewed on MSNBC, where he said that Zuckerberg allowed "misinformation" to spread on Facebook during the “most fraught time” in US history.

In this same interview, he spoke about “Soviet style disinformation.”

“We’re at this desperate place, the convergence of all those viruses, the side effects of the misinformation and the paranoia and the lying, voter suppression,” said Burns.

“And then the rewriting of our history are saying that we’re not interested in facts. We’re not interested in the truth. We’re not interested in the many varied voices that make us up.”

“You’re going to love my memoir, Ken,” said Swisher, plugging her own book during the interview.

Burns’s most groundbreaking work was producing an award-winning docu-series called The Civil War, which was created for PBS in 1990. His documentary about the Brooklyn Bridge gained him an Academy Award nomination in 1981.

This February, PBS came under fire for not having enough diversity in its selection of filmmakers. PBS was targeted for having an “overreliance” on Burns.

The PBS filmmaker released latest film Hemingway, co-created with Lynn Nivock, in April. His forthcoming series on Muhammad Ali premieres on 19 September on PBS.

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