Katie Couric and the makers of “Under the Gun” are facing a defamation suit over the documentary.
A gun rights group is suing them for $12 million in damages, saying an edited scene maliciously misrepresented an interview with members, according to reports Tuesday.
“We want to set the record straight and hold them accountable for what they’ve done,” Virginia Citizens Defense League president Philip Van Cleave said in a statement, per CNN.
“Under the Gun,” which premiered on Epix in May, featured a scene in which members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League appear stumped by Couric’s question, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from walking into, say, a licensed gun dealer and purchasing a gun?”
The released film (below) shows the members looking silent for several seconds. But they actually answered right away.
Couric later admitted the scene was misleading and apologized, Variety reported.
The suit claims the filmmakers and Epix “acted with actual malice by intentionally manipulating the raw footage to create a fictional exchange that they knew never happened.”
Couric has not commented on the suit, but a spokesperson for director Stephanie Soechtig said the gun group was attempting to trample Soechtig’s First Amendment rights. Epix said it had no hand in production, so it should not be named as a defendant.
Among conservatives on social media commenting on the complaint, Sarah Palin wrote on Facebook that “shooting back against Katie Couric’s deceptive presentations in a gun documentary is good news.” (See below.)
A blogger reportedly exposed the editing after viewing the raw footage.
The Huffington Post called the segment “startling in its intellectual dishonesty.”