Sunday, September 16, 2007
History Erased: Ken Burns, PBS, and World War II
On September 23, 2007, PBS will begin airing a fourteen hour documentary on World War II. The original version of the film, made by PBS houseboy Ken Burns, included not a single word or image about the participation of over 500,000 Latinos in the U.S. military during the war. After an outcry from numerous Latino organizations and individuals, PBS agreed to include interviews with two Latino veterans for a total of about twenty minutes. Reviewers have described the added material as being cursory and disconnected from the rest of the film. Obviously, twenty minutes is not enough but Burns arrogantly refuses to acknowledge his original mistake, the result of bad research and a blindness to the full panorama of the American experience.
For more background, here are three articles I wrote early in the controversy:
February 14, 2007
March 28, 2007
May 9, 2007
Watch a Spanish language op-ed on the Burns fiasco by Eduardo Quezada Escandon