Netflix’s Beckham Documentary Alters Affair Story for Favorable Portrayal
The new Netflix series centered around David Beckham has come under fire for allegedly tampering with a newspaper article that reported his affair with his personal assistant.
The four-part documentary, produced by Beckham’s own company, presents a positive image of the former England captain.
However, it has been criticized for manipulating the coverage of his affair, particularly in relation to Rebecca Loos, his personal assistant.
Distorted Headlines in the Documentary
In April 2004, the Daily Mirror ran a front-page headline, “MY SISTER DID HAVE AN AFFAIR WITH BECKS,” along with the initial statement, ‘David Beckham and his personal assistant Rebecca Loos did have an affair, her brother claimed yesterday.’
In the Netflix series, this newspaper article is featured with altered content in episodes three and four.
The headline is modified to read only “AN AFFAIR WITH BECKS,” and the opening sentence is entirely changed to, ‘The England captain dismissed the allegation as ludicrous.’
Netflix’s Jurisdiction and Avoidance of the Subject
Despite these significant changes, Netflix is unlikely to face regulatory action, as it is based in the Netherlands and does not fall under the jurisdiction of the UK’s media watchdog, Ofcom.
Critics have observed that the series director, Fisher Stevens, navigated around Beckham’s infidelity, avoiding direct mentions of Rebecca Loos and the word ‘affair.’
Netflix’s Manipulation and Past Concerns
The Beckham documentary is not the first time Netflix has been criticized for altering content.
In the past, British viewers have faced difficulties in addressing concerns with Netflix programs, as they are required to go through the Dutch TV regulator.
This issue has raised concerns, particularly regarding fabricated scenes in other Netflix productions like “The Crown.”
In 2021, ITV had to edit parts of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex due to misleading and distorted headlines that portrayed British press coverage as racist, thus prompting concerns about Netflix’s selective portrayal.
Reactions and Concerns
Tory MP Paul Bristow commented on the matter, emphasizing Beckham’s positive image and Netflix’s attempt to rewrite history, calling it an odd choice.
The controversy highlights concerns about media manipulation and the challenges of regulating streaming platforms like Netflix.