BBC apologises for fake Indian child labour footage

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London, Jun 18: The British Broadcasting Service (BBC) has been forced to apologise after it aired a fake child labour footage in its 45 minutes documentary shot in 2008.

“Having scrutinised all of the relevant evidence, the committee concluded that, on the balance of probabilities, it was more likely than not that the Bangalore footage was not authentic," said the Trust"s editorial standards committee.

BBC apologised for its mistake and agreed that the footage was not genuine and should not have gone on air.

“Millions of people have been deceived by Panorama. Viewers who watched the programme, shoppers who were then fed the lie, sourcing experts who believed the lie, teachers and pupils who viewed the programme in lessons, have all been badly let down," said a Primark spokesperson at the Daily Express and called BBC's acceptance“extraordinary".

BBC had won an award at the Royal Television Society for the controversial documentary after the short film named Primark: On The Rack, depicted child labour in Bangalore' s successful retail chain 'Primark'.

The footage aired was later found as 'fake'. "There is speculation now that BBC could lose the prestigious award for serious editorial failures," reported the Daily Mail.

"Activity being carried out by the boys in the Bangalore footage did not appear to the committee to be genuine."

"The trust would like to apologise on behalf of the BBC to Primark and to the audience at home for this rare lapse in quality," said Alison Hastings, Committee chairman.

"Panorama simply did not find child labour involved in the Primark supply chain as the programme sought to suggest but relied on fabricated footage to air a programme otherwise based on prejudice," said Primark after the three year long investigation came to an end.

Primark owns about 220 retail stores worldwide that include 152 stores in Britain. Primark posted their own investigative video on their company's website which showed that Dan McDougall, the program's investigative reporter bought some clothes from Pollachi in Tamil Nadu on Feb 24, 2008.

He further took the garments to three boys who worked in the Bangalore workshop and told them to pretend as if they were sewing something.

One of the boys who was in the film, identified the journalist and and said they were told to “move your hand on this." The three boys claimed that they sewed embroidery on women's footwear from Feb to Apr 2008 for an Indian retailer.

“Appalled by the (trust"s) decision. I have rarely seen a finding so unjust in outcome, flawed in process, and deeply damaging to independent investigative journalism," said McDougall.

OneIndia News

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