ITV scrutinized for documentary promo

Aug. 1, 2007 at 4:52 PM
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LONDON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- British broadcaster ITV admitted an Alzheimer's patient who "died" in a documentary's final scene actually died three days later.

This disclosure follows ITV Chairman Michael Grade's telling a panel of lawmakers he employed a "zero tolerance" policy for filmmakers who deceived viewers, The Telegraph reported Wednesday.

"Malcolm and Barbara: Love's Farewell," was directed by independent filmmaker Paul Watson, who shot the "death" scene with one technician.

Marketing materials about the film noted that Malcolm Pointon is surrounded by his family, his wife Barbara stroking his head "as he passes away."

ITV said the director approved the statement. However, Watson said he did not work on the statement and "did not read it sufficiently clearly."

ITV later said the filmmaker sought clarification, but not until Monday, the day before the statement was issued. The broadcaster issued a correction.

Pointon's brother, who was at the Pointon's house when the scene was filmed, brought the matter to light.

Watson is no stranger to accusations of manipulation. In response to earlier charges of twisting events he filmed, Watson said, "We all know what manipulation is, it's called editing. Am I a manipulative sod? I am, because that's what editing is about."

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