A DOCUMENTARY about US businessman, Donald Trump’s project to build a golf course north of Aberdeen was broadcast by the BBC, despite a reported attempt to have its transmission halted.
Writes The Guardian’s Scottish correspondent, Severin Carrell: “Donald Trump tried to force the BBC to drop the broadcast of a critically acclaimed documentary on his alleged bullying of residents near his Scottish golf resort.
“Lawyers for the New York property magnate contacted the BBC two days before the feature-length film You’ve Been Trumped was screened on BBC2 on Sunday night, claiming it was highly defamatory, biased and misleading, and demanding a right of reply.”
The documentary is said to have attracted an estimated audience of 1.1million, 40 per cent higher than normal.
Although documentary maker, Anthony Baxter, seeks several times to put questions to Trump, the film is mostly sympathetic to local residents who found themselves being criticised for the state of their homes and being threatened with compulsory purchase orders.
A BBC spokesperson is quoted, as saying: “During the making of the film, Donald Trump declined the opportunity to take part. We are confident that Donald Trump was offered sufficient right to reply in accordance with BBC editorial guidelines. Donald Trump chose not to participate but the film-maker took care to reflect his views on a number of different occasions in the film.
“In addition, Donald Trump was offered the chance to be interviewed live on the BBC following the BBC2 broadcast. He has not taken up our invitation.”
During the making of the film, Baxter was forcibly arrested – the scenes appearing in the documentary and condemned by the National Union of Journalists.
Reports David Ross in The Herald today: “Donald Trump is lodging complaints with the [BBC governing body, the] BBC Trust and the broadcasting regulator Ofcom following Sunday’s broadcast of the controversial film, You’ve Been Trumped, and is not ruling out legal action.”
Pic: Donald Trump at the opening of his Menie Estate golf course.