Stephen Morse, a producer for the Netflix documentary “Amanda Knox,” has on several occasions expressed his criticism of Nick Pisa and the Daily Mail. On at least two occasions Morse accused Pisa and the Daily Mail of deliberately lying. Morse writes in one of his twitter posts from 2011 that he confronted Pisa on the “lies” published by the Daily Mail.
According to Morse and one of the directors, the three of them started on the film in 2011. Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito had been convicted at the trial level, and their appeal to the Hellmann court was scheduled to be heard in late September of that year.
Morse traveled to Italy in late 2011 to cover the trial and provided twitter updates. His belief in Knox’s innocence shows in his tweets. It seems that one of the co-directors of the “Amanda Knox” documentary, Rod Blackhurst, was also in Perugia at this time.
During the appeal hearings, Producer Stephen Morse provided the first evidence of his criticisms of Pisa and the Daily Mail. He claims that citations to ‘fraudsters’ would be better than citing Nick Pisa and the Daily Mail:
Several days later, Morse confronted Nick Pisa in Perugia. While the details of this confrontation are not known, it is clear what Morse though of Pisa. His tweet uses the hash tag “#nickpisashitjournalist”; which reads “Nick Pisa Shit Journalist.” Morse writes the he confronted Pisa on the “lies” in the Daily Mail, which Pisa denied:
A year later Morse repeated his claim that the Daily Mail and its reporters printed lies:
In 2014, three years into working on the “Amanda Knox” documentary, Morse continued his criticism of the Daily Mail on his blog. Morse wrote that Knox was innocent, which he found out upon arriving in Perugia in 2011. Morse wrote of his desire to see Knox “free from the hatred that has already been lofted upon her for years.”
“In the narrative of Amanda Knox, Amanda has been portrayed as the bad guy, especially for people in the United Kingdom, who saw the trashy, headline-driven press in The Daily Mail, The Sun, and The Daily Mirror that target “working class” citizens of that former empire.” -Stephen Morse, 24 Feb 2014
In a now-deleted blog post, while in the middle of working on the film, Morse describes his desire for a rehabilitation of Knox’s image in the media:
“Amanda has responded with strength and intelligence to the people who have created hateful Facebook groups against her, like Perugia Vi Odia (Perugia Hates You), and it is my hope that one day her world will be free of the misplaced hatred that has already been lofted upon her for years.” -Stephen Morse, 24 Feb 2014
In recent reviews of the documentary, its clear Nick Pisa does not come across as sympathetic in the documentary. The Guardian writes that Nick Pisa becomes “a one-man symbol of how shameful that coverage became.” (Guardian, 15-Sep 2016). The Daily Beast writes “The filmmakers put much of the onus on tabloid reporters like Nick Pisa” (Daily Beast, 18-Sep 2016).
It leaves the question: did Nick Pisa know that this documentary was being produced by the person who confronted Pisa in Perugia in 2011 and accused Pisa and the Daily Mail of lying?
Netflix has attempted to distance Morse from the documentary, claiming the title “producer” was only honorary. But the film that will be broadcast across America on September 30th by all reports reflects the published views of producer Morse during the time he claims he was producing the “Amanda Knox” documentary.
I think not!