The Trials of Oscar Pistorius

The Trials of Oscar Pistorius: BBC documentary leaves viewers divided

The former paralympian murdered Reeva Steenkamp in 2013

The Trials of Oscar Pistorius aired on BBC Two last night and some viewers slammed the programme, accusing it of offering a sympathetic view of the killer.

The documentary series, which got underway on Sunday (November 8) evening, focusses on the South African former Paralympic star, who was convicted of murdering his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius initially received a six-year prison sentence for killing his partner on Valentine’s Day in 2013.

But later, following an appeal by the state for an heftier sentence, the Supreme Court of Appeal increased the disgraced athlete’s prison term to 15 years.

Some BBC viewers felt the documentary sympathised with Oscar Pistorius (Credit: Getty/ Charlie Shoemaker/ BBC)

What happened in The Trials of Oscar Pistorius?

The first episode episode looked at the global shock that followed news of Pistorius’ arrest and examined his girlfriend’s death in light of the epidemic of violence against women gripping South Africa.

On Twitter, a number of angry BBC viewers accused the show of offering a sympathetic take on the convicted killer.

They felt it portrayed him as a victim and a ‘fallen hero’, while some said they felt so disgusted, they had to turn it off.

Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day, 2013(Credit: Getty/ Waldo Swiegers/ BBC)

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One fumed, with a string of angry emojis: “This is truly disgusting, sympathy for #OscarPistorius who beat up women, threatened people with a gun, eventually murdering Reeva Steenkamp. Turning off, furious. Didn’t expect tabloid TV from BBC.”

Another said: “Missed the first half and just turned over to see what it was saying. Turned off after 30 secs.”

Awful documentary. Turned it off after half an hour. Glorifying a murderer.

A third, similarly, wrote: “I’m two minutes into watching this and already, it’s sympathising with #OscarPistorius. How he was in shock, crying, in disbelief, desperate, grappling with the reality of what had just happened, weeping, broken…”

They added, using caps for emphasis: “HE MURDERED #ReevaSteenkamp!”

Pistorius celebrating winning gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games (Credit: Getty/ Bryn Lennon/ BBC)

BBC viewers turn off Oscar Pistorius documentary

A fourth tweeted: “I’m hoping this Oscar Pistorius doc is going to balance out in the last two episodes because so far, the ‘fallen hero’ narrative is gross.”

Some one else likewise said: “Absolutely, awful documentary, turned it off after half an hour, glorifying a murderer.”

Another likened it to a “parole application”.

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However, not everyone felt that way, as some viewers said they found the first episode interesting.

“Just watched the @BBCiPlayer #OscarPistorius documentary everyone is ranting about,” said one, who conversely thought the doc was fine. “I disagree that it made him out as a hero.”

“Excellent documentary,” said another, adding: “Really interesting #OscarPistorius.”

ED! contacted the BBC for comment.

During the trial, Pistorius claimed to have unintentionally shot Steenkamp at his home, insisting he had mistaken her for an intruder before shooting her through a bathroom door.

What did you think of the Oscar Pistorius documentary? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.

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