BBC takes down Oscar Pistorius documentary trailer after backlash over failing to mention Reeva Steenkamp

Susannah Alexander
·3-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Digital Spy

The BBC has taken down a trailer for new documentary series The Trials of Oscar Pistorius after it received a backlash for failing to name Reeva Steenkamp, the woman that Pistorius shot and killed in February 2013.

Steenkamp was a model and paralegal who died after being shot four times by her boyfriend Pistorius while she was staying in his home in South Africa.

Pistorius, who claimed that he shot Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder, is currently serving a prison sentence for murder after the previous verdict of culpable homicide was overturned.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

On Tuesday (October 27), the BBC promoted the documentary by sharing a trailer that featured references to the former athlete's childhood, glimpses at his professional athletics career and information about his arrest.

Soon after the trailer was posted, however, the BBC was criticised for failing to name Reeva Steenkamp directly and instead only alluded to Steenkamp by calling her "his girlfriend" or "she" and explaining that Pistorius was "suspected of killing his girlfriend".

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

"This two minute trailer looks in detail at the life of Oscar Pistorius, doesn't mention the woman he murdered by name and only touchingly mentions gender based violence at the very end.... along with comments by the world and his wife. Brilliant!" one viewer wrote in response to the trailer.

Another tweeted: "Reeva Steenkamp. That's the name of the woman this 'remarkable' man murdered. Reeva's life was not just a side plot in his story. She had her own story. You didn't mention her name here, so I thought – along with all the other commentators, I would."

The trailer has since been taken down and the BBC has released a statement addressing the backlash.

"We have removed the trail for The Trials of Oscar Pistorius that was posted on social media earlier today," the statement read.

"We regret that the original trail did not refer to Reeva Steenkamp directly.

"We are aware of the upset it has caused, which was never the intention. We have removed the trail and it will be replaced by something more representative of the series, which examines in detail a number of complex issues connected to her murder."

The Trials of Oscar Pistorius will be available to stream from November 7 on BBC iPlayer, and will air on BBC Two at a later date.

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