The Netflix documentary series Beckham, which chronicles the life and career of the football star David Beckham, has been accused of manipulating the truth to present a more positive image of the former England captain and his achievements. According to a report by the Sunday Times, the documentary has doctored the truth to spin a narrative that is favorable to Beckham, who also acts as an executive producer of the series.
The report found six instances of factual inaccuracies in the documentary, which covers topics such as Beckham’s role in the 1998 and 2001 World Cup matches, his affair with Rebecca Loos, and his popularity among Manchester United fans. For example, the documentary claims that Beckham was unfairly blamed for England’s exit from the 1998 World Cup after he was sent off for kicking Argentina’s Diego Simeone. However, the report points out that Beckham himself admitted in his autobiography that he deserved the red card and that he let his team down.
Another example is the documentary’s portrayal of Beckham’s affair with Rebecca Loos, his former personal assistant, in 2004. The documentary suggests that Beckham was a victim of a media witch-hunt and that he never cheated on his wife Victoria. However, Loos has accused Beckham of playing ‘the victim’ in his own documentary, which she said is unfair and misleading. She told BNN that she has proof of their relationship and that she is not lying.
The documentary has also been criticized for omitting or glossing over some of the less flattering aspects of Beckham’s career, such as his controversial transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2003, his lackluster performance in the 2006 World Cup, and his failed bid to bring the 2018 World Cup to England. The documentary has sparked a debate about the authenticity of celebrity documentaries, with some suggesting they are nothing more than PR exercises for the stars involved.
One of them is The Guardian’s columnist Barney Ronay, who wrote that he was left longing for football’s less sanitised past after watching the Beckham Netflix doc. He said that the documentary fails to present an accurate portrayal of Beckham’s life and career, and that it is too polished and scripted. He argued that such documentaries are not meant to inform or enlighten, but to sell and promote.
The Netflix documentary series Beckham consists of nine episodes, each focusing on a different aspect of Beckham’s journey from a young boy in east London to a global icon. The series features interviews with Beckham himself, as well as his family, friends, teammates, coaches, and celebrities. The series was released on October 15, 2023, and has received mixed reviews from critics and viewers.
– David Beckham Netflix Doc “Doctored Truth To Spin Narrative”, Say Fact-Checkers, Deadline, October 29, 2023
– Rows, haircuts and spag bol: the Beckham Netflix doc left me longing for football’s less sanitised past, The Guardian, October 15, 2023
– Controversy Hits David Beckham’s Netflix Documentary: Alleged Former Mistress Accuses Him of Playing ‘The Victim’, BNN, October 23, 2023
– Rebecca Loos Accuses David Beckham of Playing ‘The Victim’ Amid Affair Discussion in Netflix Documentary, MSN, October 23, 2023