Ken Burns Has a Big Problem With The Last Dance

'That's not the way you do good journalism'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2020 5:08 AM CDT
Ken Burns Criticizes Jordan Documentary
Fimmaker Ken Burns poses in the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

Ken Burns hasn't seen any of ESPN's new 10-part documentary series on Michael Jordan—but he already knows he has a big problem with it. The Last Dance was made in partnership with Jump23, Jordan's production company, and Burns, one of America's leading documentary makers, says that is an arrangement he would "never, never, never" sign up for.

"If you are there influencing the very fact of it getting made it means that certain aspects that you don’t necessarily want in aren’t going to be in, period,” Burns tells the Wall Street Journal. "And that’s not the way you do good journalism ... and it’s certainly not the way you do good history, my business." The series, which looks at Jordan's last season with the Chicago Bulls, has been a big hit, with an average of 6 million viewers for the first four episodes, reports the Washington Post. But Burns isn't the only critic: Vice called the episodes "the longest-ever Michael Jordan ads." (Read more Ken Burns stories.)

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