BBC apologises after Oscar Pistorius trailer fails to name murdered girlfriend

PA Reporters
·2-min read

The BBC has apologised after a trailer for a new documentary about Oscar Pistorius failed to refer to his murdered girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by name.

The runner – a double amputee who competed in both the Olympics and Paralympics – had been hailed as an inspirational figure for overcoming his disability.

But he was later jailed for the murder of Ms Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013, and the trial of the South African athlete became a global media sensation.

The BBC said it had removed the offending trailer, which referred to Ms Steenkamp as “his girlfriend” and “she”, prompting criticism online.

A statement from the broadcaster said: “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 with her murder.”

Four-part series The Trials Of Oscar Pistorius will be available on BBC iPlayer next month before airing on BBC Two at a later date.

The series features interviews with people close to his story and looks back on his journey to becoming an international athletics star before his arrest.

Daniel Gordon, who directed the documentary, said: “The story of Oscar Pistorius is remarkable in its complexity.

“It’s at once inspirational and harrowing, and provides a lens of insight into a breadth of issues – from gender-based violence to disability rights, racial inequality and media frenzy.

“My hope is that the film gives audiences context and layers to a story they think they know.”

Dan McGolpin, controller of BBC iPlayer, said: “This incredible documentary series provides new perspectives on the terrible events of Valentine’s Day 2013, giving us a deeper and closer look at one of the world’s most remarkable sporting figures, on the South Africa that he grew up in and the media circus that surrounded his trial for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.”

The Trials Of Oscar Pistorius will arrive on BBC iPlayer on November 7.