Why Netflix is ​​facing backlash for its Harry & Meghan trailer

As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle continue their fight against misinformation, critics and journalists are calling Netflix for a recent trailer used to promote the couple’s upcoming docuseries, Harry and Meghan.

The official trailer for the six-part series, released on Monday, includes footage and photos from events without the couple, as the video aims to show the couple’s struggles with the media.

Many outlets pointed out that some of the footage included in the one-minute clip could be seen as misleading.

Some so-called ‘b-roll’ appear to be from the 2011 premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, while another clip shows footage from a lawsuit involving model Katie Price captured the ‘last year. Another part of the video shows a swarm of photographers and reporters covering former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen in 2019.

And a seemingly bizarre photo of the couple, also shown in the trailer, was taken by an authorized representative of the press pool present for the couple’s trip to Africa in 2019.

“This photograph used by @Netflix and Harry and Meghan to suggest press intrusion is a total travesty,” royal reporter Robert Jobson tweeted on Monday. “He was caught in an accredited swimming pool at Archbishop Tutu’s residence in Cape Town. Only three people held the accredited position. H&M accepted the job. I was there. »

Adding the photograph was a “misperception of the truth,” adds Jobson.

“We’re covering an official visit where they had taxpayer-funded protection and all the trappings,” he said. “It’s just nonsense. The palace was not part of a “mise en place”. No conspiracy here, just lies and misuse of photos taken from pools.

Kensington Palace had no comment on the trailer when reached by HuffPost on Tuesday, while Harry and Meghan’s Archewell organization sent requests to Netflix for comment. The streaming giant did not return a request for comment.

However, a source close to the Netflix documentary told the Telegraph in an article published on Tuesday that the footage is “standard practice in documentary and trailer production” and that “they are not meant to be literal in a reel. -announcement “.

T Makana Chock, David J. Levidow Professor of Communication at Syracuse University, spoke to HuffPost about whether the trailer could create a misleading impression.

Chock has conducted internationally recognized research in media psychology and studies persuasive messaging in mass media, among other topics.

Hi! Can you tell me about your work and your specialty?

Chock: I’m a communication teacher. I study media psychology, which is how media messages, persuasive or other informative messages, affect audiences and how they process those messages – but looking at a variety of mediums, including some kind of television traditional and social media.

What might a persuasive message in the media look like? What are the signs that something is trying to influence our opinion?

It’s a big question. I would say some signs are: Does the person present, or does the post present, a particular point of view that will compel you to form an opinion or change or develop an attitude about something?

Right now I’m focusing on the Harry & Meghan docuseries coming out tomorrow. What do you think of the trailer? Does it use persuasive messages? Is it common?

Well, one of the things I see in there, and I also looked at the trailer and then I watched some of the comments and the protests and Netflix’s response, c is that you’re sort of looking at a conflict between entertainment and journalistic ethics, tied to persuasive messaging.

So, from an entertainment standpoint, Netflix docuseries have said that it’s common to use stock footage to set the mood or to create a perspective point of view. And for entertainment, sometimes it is.

For journalism, you don’t do that. It is a major violation to show images that will create or persuade an audience in a way that those images are not accurate or are misused or distorted. And then it becomes a question. Should this Netflix series be treated as true journalistic storytelling or fictional entertainment? Create a small problem.

I think the trailer is obviously trying to persuade audiences to watch the show. And to create a way in which they tell the story. So that’s the point of the trailer and the show, I guess, to want to give that perspective.

But from a journalistic point of view, if you look at it, honestly, I think it was a bit lazy. And that raises doubts about the credibility of the narrative that doesn’t necessarily need to exist. For example, we know Harry and Meghan were being chased by the media and chased by the paparazzi. I don’t think there was a lot of debate. So somewhere out there there must be clips and images of paparazzi chasing Harry and Meghan that are actually accurate images. And yet, they chose to use images that came from other situations, other events, completely out of context. And it was unnecessary.

It just seems like a surefire way to avoid criticism would be, as you say, to use something from the couple’s hundreds of thousands of hours of filmed footage.

You don’t need to use Harry Potter images to let people know that Harry and Meghan were being chased by the media. They were.

As a royal reporter pointed out in the Harry & Meghan trailer, you see a camera lens peering out a window where it looks like Harry and Meghan are being followed. And the royal reporter pointed out that it was a press opportunity cleared by the palace. So showing footage where media was allowed to access at the time was another part of the trailer that stuck with me.

I think it also kind of gave some color or emphasis to the concerns, which again are valid concerns that Harry had and says he has about the safety of his family. And again, these are valid concerns, and there are real risks involved. But they used an image to accentuate that, to create that kind of impact. Again, was it necessary? There are other ways to do it. Did you have to use this kind of manipulated images to create this type of message?

I don’t know what the series will look like. Again, it’s journalistic ethics versus entertainment ethics. And for an entertainment story, you have certain rules and certain things that you do, one is to entertain an audience, to create the most vivid images, to grab attention and to do those kinds of things in terms of production values. But if you’re telling a real story that people will treat as the truth, credibility expectations will be higher for that type of narrative storytelling.

One thing it made me think of is The Crown, which is a historical drama. I go back and forth so much when people speak up and ask for a disclaimer. Something I’ve found out anecdotally from talking with people because of my job is that it’s the only source of royal news for some people.

Photobooth photos of the couple are featured in the trailer for their upcoming Netflix series.

The Crown is clearly entertainment. It tells the story of a family, but in some ways the labeling is pretty clear. It is a reconstruction, a story, etc. And while these are supposedly the real royals telling their own story or point of view. So I think it has another connotation. But the public may not make this distinction.

Because you’re right, audiences watch The Crown and think about it like it’s real, like it’s a documentary. And respond and react to characters and everything like it’s real. They may not be making that distinction between the entertainment aspects of The Crown, which is a fictionalized short form of storytelling, and what is meant to be a first person or at least perspective narrated by the actual royal family.

Going back to the trailer ― do you know if this use of b-roll footage, taken from other places, is this standard or common practice in other trailers?

Not in journalism. You can be in a lot of trouble. And I think it also depends. Let’s say you were doing a trailer for The Crown. And you inserted footage of the royal wedding or whatever, outside of The Crown, that interspersed and intercut with actual scenes. It could be used as a way to anchor or add legitimacy to the story. Or using the best cut images. So I would say it also depends. If you’re doing a fictional story about the President of the United States, you can use live footage of the real White House and aspects of that and people meeting someone, either in production or in values. You might see this as a kind of fiction, it can be used in stock images. It is not used for news or documentaries.

I don’t think Frontline or anywhere like that would use mislabeled images or especially things that were so far off. I mean, if there’s a case of someone, you’re using images that are actually in the context of the voiceover and the images don’t match, but the images are actually consistent, that’s logic. They got what, the Michael Cohen trial in there? And it’s not even just a case of OK the audio voiceover, and the actual images don’t match up properly. They introduced images that had nothing to do with Harry and Meghan.

Is there anything else you think our audience or audiences should know ahead of this series?

Be cautious and media-aware consumers. Fact checking. And honestly, I don’t know what’s going to be in there, so I would always generally recommend checking the facts. Snopes is a good place for articles and so on.

This interview has been slightly condensed and edited for clarity.

Source: www.huffingtonpost.co.uk


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