It is not often that naturists complain to the BBC about people wearing clothes in one of their programmes. However, this has happened in the UK recently, after the broadcasting of scenes featuring early humans in the series “Andrew Marr’s History of The World“. A spokesperson said: “It is astonishing that the BBC, that once proud bastion of journalistic integrity, should be sacrificing its reputation for commercial reasons.” According to the Daily Telegraph’s report, “The group said that in the Exodus from Africa, Ancient Egypt, the Minoans, the Caribs, the Australian aborigines, and members of a contemporary South American tribe, the costumes were the product of the BBC censors, not history.” Instead of contesting the complainants, a representative from BBC Audience Services, said he was sorry about the “compromises in accuracy”. Apparently, the corporation felt “obliged” to make compromises in the production of dramatic reconstructions. “You are of course correct in pointing out that, in reality, natives in various scenes in the early part of the series would have been naked,” he said. “But in making a series like this we have to take into account the sensitivities of the widest possible world audience.” The throwaway phrase “of course” is worthy of critical scrutiny. We need to ask whether these comments accurately represent the findings of science. How much do we actually know about the sartorial habits of prehistoric man?
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