According the China Game, the CBC canceled a documentary on the Falun Gong last night, because it received pressure from the Chinese embassy in Ottawa. I’m not a big fan of the Falun Gong myself (I worked on a couple of FG stories as a journalist and always found them to be a little out there), but I am surprised that the CBC gave into pressure on this. It strives to make sure that the documentaries that it airs are extremely fair.
When I heard about that the Chinese embassy had “tried to correct factual errors” my first question was did the filmmaker try to contact the Chinese embassy for their side of the story? The article makes no mention of this so I can’t say for sure if he did or not (and I don’t know if this was the cause for the pressure — the comment section of The China Game post says that it may be due to manipulation of the filmmaker by the Falun Gong. I just know that when I tried to contact the embassy in regards to a lawsuit launched by Falun Gong members in Montreal in 2001 (I was an intern journalist working for what is now CanWest News Services), all they would tell me is that the Falun Gong is a cult. If that’s all the embassy would say to the filmmaker, I’m not surprised they were left out of the film.