Television chief regrets evening with Castro

TT/Paul O'Mahony
TT/Paul O'Mahony - [email protected]
Television chief regrets evening with Castro

Eva Hamilton, head of public service broadcaster SVT, has admitted that last Saturday's Fidel Castro theme night merited much of the criticism it received.


"We should have been clearer about the fact that Cuba is a dictatorship", said Hamilton.

Exiled Cubans, politicians and editorialists all reacted strongly to SVT's choice of programming. "Insulting and anxiety-inducing" and "SVT celebrates by kneeling before the bearded dictator" were just a couple of the choice verbal missiles hurled at the broadcaster.

According to Hamilton, what the theme evening needed were guests who disliked the Cuban regime. Many were upset by the fact that the guests invited in to the studio were not sufficiently critical.

By this afternoon the Swedish Broadcasting Commission had received a total of 13 complaints.

"I have read some of them. It's the same thing, it's about one-sidedness and glorification of dictatorships," said Eva Tetzell, vice director of the Broadcasting Commission.

The idea of the theme night, according to Eva Hamilton, was to portray Castro and look back on his 50 years in power.

"Our intention was of course to give a balanced view. But even if this theme evening was lacking in balance one must look at SVT's entire output.

"On Saturday evening there was a segment in Rapport, one of our most popular programmes, clearly stating that Castro is a dictator and that things were worse for people after the revolution," said Hamilton.


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