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Naturists accuse BBC of major 'cover-up' by putting clothes on the actors in Andrew Marr's History Of The World
British Naturism says the BBC has 'admitted to falsification of history'
The programme depicts past civilisations in costumes which BN says are inconsistent with historical evidenceThe BBC says they are taking into account the 'sensitivities of the widest possible audience'
10:45 GMT, 28 November 2012
Naturists have accused the BBC of falsifying history by covering up actors in their portrayal of civilisations that would have been naked in Andrew Marr’s History of the World.
British Naturism (BN) says that the BBC has ‘admitted to falsification of history’ in the programme about world history after what naturist campaigners labelled as an incorrect depiction of people from past civilisations including people from Africa, Ancient Egypt and Australia.
In response to a letter from the campaigners, the BBC reportedly admitted to the inconsistencies, explaining that the costumes used in the dramatic reconstruction were to take into account the ‘sensitivities of the widest possible world audience’.
Not nude: An actor depicting a native woman encountered by Christopher Columbus in Andrew Marr's History of the World program as British Naturism accuses the BBC of falsifying history by depicting past civilisations that would have been nude in costumes
A BN spokesman said: ‘At a time when the BBC is under serious criticism for a lack of journalistic integrity, letters received by members of British Naturism show further evidence of misdeeds.
‘The BBC has admitted to the systematic falsification of history for profit and for fear of upsetting anyone.
‘There are at least six falsifications in the few episodes of Andrew Marr’s History of the World that we have reviewed.
‘The facts are actually very clear, as the BBC concedes. The costumes in many of the re-enactments are either dubious or quite undeniably false.
No loin cloths: BN says that historical evidence found that Australian Aborigines were a fully nude culture but in the BBC programme they are portrayed wearing loin cloths
‘In the Exodus from Africa, Ancient Egypt, the Minoans, the Caribs, the Australian Aborigines, and members of a contemporary South American tribe, the costumes were the product of the BBC censors, not history.’
A BBC spokesman said today: 'Andrew
Marr’s History of the World used dramatic reconstruction to bring alive
thousands of years of history.
filming a series for a mainstream audience on BBC One we have to take
into account the sensitivities of the widest possible audience.'
In a letter to the naturism group, Paul Kettle from BBC Audience Services wrote: ‘I’m sorry you were disappointed by the compromises in accuracy that we felt obliged to make in the production of dramatic reconstruction in Andrew Marr’s History of the World.
‘You are of course correct in pointing out that, in reality, natives in various scenes in the early part of the series would have been naked.
‘But in making a series like this we have to take into account the sensitivities of the widest possible world audience.’
'For fear of upsetting anyone': The BBC says that Andrew Marr's (pictured) programme needed to 'take into account the sensitivities of the widest possible audience'
BN’s research and liaison officer,
Malcolm Boura said: ‘It is astonishing that the BBC, that once proud
bastion of journalistic integrity, should be sacrificing its reputation
for commercial reasons.
‘The “world audience” referred to is overseas broadcasters paying the BBC to use programmes.
‘We do not pay the BBC licence fee for the systematic falsification of history in the pursuit of profit.
‘The BBC is encouraging attitudes known to result in widespread and often serious harm, mainly to children and young people.’
The BN listed inconsistencies they noted on their website on last Thursday about various civilisations depicted.
They included Africans which they said did not wear ‘bikinis or underwear. Both are a recent invention’.
Prejudice: Actors depicting Ancient Egyptian culture in History of the World which BN says is 'modern BBC prejudice, not the historical evidence'
Of the programme’s portrayal of
Ancient Egypt, BN said: ‘The re-enactment costumes reflect modern BBC
prejudice, not the historical evidence.’
Of Caribs encountered by Christopher
Columbus, BN said: ‘Columbus’ journal is very clear that they were a
fully nude culture. They did not wear shorts and dresses.’
Aborigines were a nude culture according to BN. They wrote: Cook’s
journals are very clear that they were a fully nude culture. They did
not wear loin cloths.’
BN has written to the Culture Media and Sport Committee to pursue the programme’s depiction.
BN is the UK’s officially recognised naturist organisation which has a membership of around 10,500 people.
The BBC has been criticised for the programme in the past.
In September Marr was accused by Christians of having a ‘cavalier and unsympathetic’ attitude towards Christianity after failing to include Jesus in the series.
Christians, including Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, say the BBC is guilty of ‘a glaring oversight’ for excluding Christ from the series.