BBC Apologizes for Causing Royal Pain
God save the BBC.
The British Broadcasting Corporation was forced to apologize Thursday for misleadingly portraying Queen Elizabeth II as a royal pain.
During a promotional event in London Wednesday, the Beeb screened a trailer for its highly anticipated five-part fall documentary, A Year with the Queen, to a group of British journalists.
The trailer featured a showdown between Her Majesty and photographer extraordinaire Annie Liebovitz during an official portrait sitting that seemingly ended with the queen storming out of the shoot.
The clip was notable for what appeared to be a rare public display of displeasure from the queen, who was shown exchanging terse words with Liebovitz about her outfit for the March shoot before apparently walking off.
In the footage, Liebovitz is heard talking to Queen Elizabeth about her choice of apparel, which consisted of acrown and official Order of the Garter robes.
"I think it will look better without the crown," the Vanity Fair lenser proffered to her royal subject. "Less dressy. The garter robe is so..."
But before she could summon the word "extraordinary," the monarch intervened.
"Less dressy?" she asked, pointing to her royal regalia. "What do you think this is?"
The clip then jumped to footage of Her Royal Highness making her way down one of Buckingham Palace's corridors, complaining to an aid that she is "not changing anything. I've had enough of dressing like this, thank you very much."
With headlines of the queen's tantrum spinning their way around the globe, the BBC on Thursday admitted that some creative editing was to blame. Officials said the footage of the quick-stepping queen complaining of her wardrobe was actually shot whle she was making her way to the portrait sitting, not storming out of it.
"In this trailer, there is a sequence that implies that the queen left a sitting prematurely," the BBC said in a statement. "This was not the case and the actual sequence of events was misrepresented.
"The BBC would like to apologize to both the queen and Annie Liebovitz for any upset this may have caused."
The network also said that the trailer, cut together from pieces of the five-part documentary, was "not intended to provide a full picture of what actually happened or of what will be shown in the final programme."
In addition to the BBC's apology, the monarch's behavior was defended by her minions.
"The queen doesn't storm," former Royal Press Officer Dickie Arbiter told the BBC. "The queen doesn't walk out of anything."
Liebovitz even came to the defense of Queen Elizabeth, and also clarified the timeline of events to the London Times.
"She entered the room at a surprisingly fast pace, as fast as the regalia would allow her and muttered, 'Why am I wearing these heavy robes in the middle of the day?' She doesn't really want to get dressed up any more. She just couldn't be bothered and I admire her for that."
Despite the apology, which was also issued to Buckingham Palace, the network's overlords in the BBC Trust have asked director general Mark Thompson to give the board a full explanation at a trustee meeting next week.
Not that the BBC itself is waiting that long. On Thursday evening, they issued another statement saying the footage was edited together by RDF Media, the production company behind documentary, several months ago and was shown by mistake Wednesday.
The network stressed that the faulty footage was never meant to be seen by members of the press or public and was accidentally sent to the launch party. Organizers "used the sequence in good faith without any knowledge that the error had been made," per the BBC.
A BBC spokesperson refused to say whether a complaint from the queen herself prompted Thursdays mea culpas.
The apparent non-incident went down in March during a portrait sitting meant to commemorate the queen's first state-sanctioned trip to the U.S. in 16 years.
Aside from the photo shoot, which, from the sounds of it, will likely be completely excised from the documentary, A Year With the Queen also depicts the monarch presiding over the opening of Parliament, the celebrating her 80th birthday and interacting with members of the royal family.
There are currently no plans for the special to air outside the U.K.
vendredi, juillet 13, 2007
You have to be kidding me.