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Katie Couric is owning up for her role in a “misleading” portion of a recent documentary about gun violence.
“I take responsibility for a decision that misrepresented an exchange I had with members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League,” Couric said in a statement on Monday.
In the scene in question from Epix’s “Under the Gun,” a pause was added after Couric asked the members how guns could be be kept from terrorists and other dangerous people without a background check. The eight-second silence made it seem like the pro-gun rights activists were unable to answer or were stumped by the question.
The statement represents a shift for the Yahoo reporter’s acceptance of fault surrounding the controversy. Previously, the documentary’s director, Stephanie Soechtig, said that the pause was placed there to allow viewers time to absorb the question. She also said she didn’t mean to “make anyone look bad.” Couric told press at the time that she supported the director’s statement.
Now, Couric says she has changed her mined. She has also released a transcript of the initial response from the gun rights activists.
Read her full statement below:
As Executive Producer of “Under the Gun,” a documentary film that explores the epidemic of gun violence, I take responsibility for a decision that misrepresented an exchange I had with members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). My question to the VCDL regarding the ability of convicted felons and those on the terror watch list to legally obtain a gun, was followed by an extended pause, making the participants appear to be speechless.
When I screened an early version of the film with the director, Stephanie Soechtig, I questioned her and the editor about the pause and was told that a “beat” was added for, as she described it, “dramatic effect,” to give the audience a moment to consider the question. When VCDL members recently pointed out that they had in fact immediately answered this question, I went back and reviewed it and agree that those eight seconds do not accurately represent their response.
VCDL members have a right for their answers to be shared and so we have posted a transcript of their responses here. I regret that those eight seconds were misleading and that I did not raise my initial concerns more vigorously.
I hope we can continue to have an important conversation about reducing gun deaths in America, a goal I believe we can all agree on.