October 11, 2021

UK - BBC under fire over 'misinformation' in iPlayer description for Dreyfus Affair drama

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.

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 antisemitic attitudes within the military and society at the time. However, in the initial description on BBC iPlayer, none of these key details were reflected.

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.

Regardless, people on social media are understandably furious, with worrying it perpetuates antisemitic 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.

As yet, though the change has been made on iPlayer, there has been no official statement or apology from the BBC.