ENTERTAINMENT
07/08/2019 16:08 BST

BBC Defends Stacey Dooley Amid Backlash Over 'IS Brides' Documentary

The Strictly winner came under fire after referring to a Muslim prayer gesture as an "IS salute" in one preview clip from the Panorama special.

The BBC has jumped to the defence of Stacey Dooley, following the controversy over her latest documentary.

Earlier this week, Stacey appeared in a special episode of Panorama titled Stacey Meets The IS Brides, in which she visited a camp in northern Syria, to interview women who had left their home countries to join the self-described Islamic State.

However, a preview clip for the documentary came under fire the day of its release, in which she was heard referring to some women’s Muslim prayer gesture as an “IS salute”.

While the scene in question was removed from the final documentary, the show itself has still proved controversial, with the BBC posting a statement on Twitter in which they’ve stuck up for Stacey. 

BBC
Stacey Dooley in her Panorama special

Linking to a story written about Janet Street-Porter’s reaction to the documentary, they wrote: “It’s disappointing that criticism has focused on Stacey; every programme is a team effort, so the mistake wasn’t her responsibility. Stacey’s a fantastic and experienced film maker who brings new audiences to hard-hitting and sensitive documentaries.

“As we made clear yesterday, the BBC made a mistake by not pointing out the wider context of a gesture which has been adopted by IS for propaganda purposes, and we apologised.”

Stacey is yet to respond to the controversy directly.

Originally known for her BBC documentary series Stacey Dooley Investigates, which has tackled issues including domestic violence, drug trafficking and sustainable fashion, Stacey won a new legion of fans last year when she took part in Strictly Come Dancing.

She went on to win the series, and has since presented the BBC Three reality series Glow Up, which features aspiring make-up artists.