Louis Theroux Defends Controversial ‘Platform’ Figures in New Series

Louis Theroux has defended controversial “platform” figures including white nationalists and an alleged sexual predator in his new series.

The journalist’s forthcoming BBC2 series, Forbidden America, explores extreme voices in the US – with the first episode investigating incendiary figures of the US far right.

Among the activists who received airtime were a white nationalist who thinks women should lose the right to vote, an influencer hailing Nazis and an online troll involved in the Capitol Riots.

As Theroux considered the impact of amplifying these voices, he ultimately felt that the series could help viewers understand these numbers by “shedding light on aspects of human psychology and society”.

Writing for the Guardian, the 50-year-old broadcaster said: ‘These troubled, sometimes dangerous people are legitimate subjects of journalistic inquiry.

Louis Theroux defended controversial “platform” characters in his new series. Tim Gionet, who uses the pseudonym Baked Alaska to post neo-Nazi conspiracy theories online, is among those receiving airtime.

The first episode of the series sees the broadcaster meet Nick Fuentes, a far-right American political commentator and white nationalist who participated in and publicly praised the Capitol Riots.

The first episode of the series sees the broadcaster meet Nick Fuentes, a far-right American political commentator and white nationalist who participated in and publicly praised the Capitol Riots.

He says that while these characters shouldn’t be given platforms to discuss moral issues in a reductionist way – “talking to people who have done terrible things” if done correctly, can be valuable.

‘[It can be] revealing and ultimately life affirming, bringing to light aspects of human psychology and society in a way that fosters understanding and cultivates empathy,” he writes.

The first episode of the series sees the broadcaster meet Nick Fuentes, a far-right American political commentator and white nationalist who participated in and publicly praised the Capitol Riots.

He rose to prominence among the far-right when he claimed he was forced out of Boston University after death threats for taking part in the “Unite The Right” protests in Charlottesville in 2017.

Fuentes rose to fame among the far-right when he claimed he was forced out of Boston University after death threats for taking part in the protests

Fuentes rose to prominence among the far-right when he claimed he was forced out of Boston University after death threats for participating in the “Unite The Right” protests in Charlottesville in 2017.

The white nationalist, who expressed anti-Semitic views and made Holocaust-denying remarks, was removed from YouTube in 2020 for repeated violations of the hate speech policy.

At one point in the series, he tells Theroux that he thinks society would work better if women couldn’t vote, and said he considers homosexuality “disgusting.”

He met “troll and live broadcaster” Tim Gionet, who uses the pseudonym Baked Alaska to post neo-Nazi conspiracy theories online.

Gionet live-streamed footage of himself among other Donald Trump supporters inside the Capitol last year and was arrested on two counts of breaking and entering and violent entry and disorderly conduct .

The broadcaster speaks with far-right influencer Beardson Beardly, an online livestreamer who belongs to the America First movement and has previously been filmed performing two Nazi salutes.

Asked about the series’ salutes, he insists he’s not a Nazi, saying the offensive gesture was an ‘accident’ when he was ‘just trying to salute’ and threw the reporter out of the way. his home.

Theroux explained that he felt he was

Theroux explained that he felt it was “right to do a program” about these controversial characters for a variety of reasons.

In another episode of the series, Theroux explores the world of online pornography and meets porn agent Derek Hay who has been accused by some former models of sexual misconduct. He denied any wrongdoing.

Los Angeles-based porn agent Hay, whose stage name is Ben English, has reportedly been accused of sexual abuse by four female porn performers who claim he is linked to an illegal escort business.

Theroux explained that he felt it was “right to do a program” about these controversial characters for a variety of reasons.

He says the nature of his documentaries, filmed over months or years, means he is able to tap into the psyches of characters and better understand their points of view.

The journalist argued that while he could have simply ignored these views, these voices are already reaching audiences in “bedrooms and living rooms around the world, by the millions”.

“So the choice we face is whether we should be curious about this phenomenon, try to understand why it is growing, what it feeds on, how it can be challenged, or whether to ignore it. and hope it goes away”.

Louis Theroux’s Forbidden America will be broadcast on Sunday February 13 at 9 p.m. on BBC2

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