The broadcaster has been slammed for misinformation in the description of one of its latest historical dramas
The BBC is facing criticism and calls of "misinformation" after the description for BBC Four's new historical drama, Paris Police 1990, incorrectly labelled an important historical figure a "notorious Jewish spy".
The show itself is a Parisian period noir thriller following a young police officer investigating a murder case. It was originally produced and released in France by Canal+ and StudioCanal back in February.
The story itself is set against the backdrop of the Dreyfus Affair, a notable political scandal in the Third French Republic, where a French officer was wrongly accused of passing military secrets to the Germans.
Dreyfus was a Jewish officer in the French army who was baselessly accused of treason by a deeply antisemitic establishment.
After initially being convicted and humiliated, he was later exonerated of all charges.
Yet the @BBC refers to him as a "notorious Jewish spy". pic.twitter.com/woFbgdnztM
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) October 10, 2021
Alfred Dreyfus was charged with treason and sentenced to life in prison before the case was ultimately overturned, as it became clear that most of the evidence against him was forged, instead highlighting the anti-semitic attitudes within the military and society at the time. However, in the initial description on BBC iPlayer, none of these key details were reflected.
I don’t understand how these things aren’t checked and somehow get through…
“Dreyfus, the notorious Jewish spy” https://t.co/Kru57X5LSD
— Karen Pollock (@KarenPollock100) October 10, 2021
The iPlayer description now looks to have been changed as you can see in the tweet below, however - as mentioned in the comments - other outlets such as the Radio Times are still yet to make the distinction and Dreyfus' infamous framing perfectly clear.
The BBC have exonerated Dreyfus. Historic justice pic.twitter.com/3dcSoRNVlW
— Anshel Pfeffer אנשיל פפר (@AnshelPfeffer) October 10, 2021
Regardless, people on social media are understandably furious, with worrying it perpetuates anti-Semitic propaganda while others simply wondered how the description wasn't checked for factual accuracy.
Meanwhile, many have noted that the broadcaster was attempting to withhold details surrounding the programme.
Dreyfus the notorious WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST READ!? https://t.co/dvZu5YVIuL
— Bruce Hill (@BruceHillMelb) October 10, 2021
As yet, though the change has been made on iPlayer, there has been no official statement or apology from the BBC.