BBC denies 'misrepresenting sex workers' in new Louis Theroux documentary

'We are confident that they gave informed consent to be a part of the documentary'

Maisie Harvey
Saturday 10 August 2019 13:05

The BBC has defended itself from allegations that Louis Theroux’s latest documentary manipulated his subjects.

Sex workers Georgina Tyson and Ashleigh Williams feel they were misled over the documentary’s narrative, and worry it will perpetuate negative stereotypes surrounding those in the industry.

Georgina wrote in an open letter: “They supposedly wanted to follow a newish sex worker to document that experience, it felt more like they were pushing the stereotype of sex workers being sex workers because something bad happened to them.” She also claims she was not properly safeguarded.

The BBC said in a statement: "Georgina is not identified as being a sex worker in the film, nor is she a subject of the documentary. Our initial contact was with Ashleigh, and it was clear that she was the focus of the film, not Georgina. We have addressed their concerns in the final edit of the film, and have listened to their comments throughout the filming process.

"We are confident that Ashleigh gave informed consent to be a part of the documentary as is evidenced by ongoing communication with her. Louis is well-versed with handling sensitive cases and has always had the utmost respect for the subjects of his documentaries"

You can read the full open letter below.

The documentary, Louis Theroux: Selling Sex, will air on BBC Two later this year.

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