If you've had the time to sit down and speed through Netflix's latest true-crime doc The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, you may have noticed a substantial absence among those interviewed for the eight-part series. While archival news and interview footage of Kate and Gerry McCann is used to provide their accounts of their daughter's disappearance, Madeleine's parents were otherwise not involved in the production of the series. So why aren't Madeleine McCann's parents featured in the documentary?
If you weren't aware, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann documents the details of the then three-year-old's disappearance from a holiday complex in Praia de Luz, Portugal in 2007. Using 120 hours of new and existing footage combined with interviews with investigators, journalists, and others involved to theorise what happened to Madeleine and why she went missing in the first place.
But pretty soon after the documentary was announced last Thursday (March 14), the McCanns issued a statement regarding the documentary on findmadeleine.com, where they also explained why they declined to be involved. The statement read:
"We are aware that Netflix are planning to screen a documentary in March 2019 about Madeleine's disappearance. The production company told us that they were making the documentary and asked us to participate. We did not see and still do not see how this programme will help the search for Madeleine and, particularly given there is an active police investigation, could potentially hinder it.
Consequently, our views and preferences are not reflected in the programme. We will not be making any further statements or giving interviews regarding this programme."
The McCanns' spokesperson Clarence Mitchell also gave insight as to why Kate and Gerry decided not to be involved with the documentary during Friday's (March 15) broadcast of This Morning. Mitchell explained to presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford that the series could resurface theories that the McCanns could have been involved in their daughter's disappearance.
"[The documentary] fuels those conspiracy theorists, there's whole websites and forums dedicated to vilifying them and others around them, myself included. It's nonsense. If the allegations that have been disproven and discounted are aired again, I'm afraid it will fuel that. Kate and Gerry ignore all of that."
I have contacted Netflix for comment and will update you as soon as they get back to me.
He continued: "They have always believed that in the absence of any definitive evidence to suggest that the worst has happened, that she could still be alive and that's what keeps them going to this day. There is no evidence that she's come to physical harm whatsoever and until somebody sits them down and says they have the worst possible news for them, and the evidence, then they have to keep going."
In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Mitchell also suggested that Netflix were more interested in creating a piece of "infotainment" rather than adding anything significant to the case, and that the series is "one-sided" even though the streaming company apparently offered the McCann's to watch the series in advance.
"Netflix are a commercial operation, they are obviously looking for hits on the platform and if it's done within the laws of defamation then fine," Mitchell told the publication. "Because they have not talked to our side, it will inevitably be one-sided and I'm afraid this just gives succour to the conspiracy loons out there."
The Disappearance of Madeline McCann is available to stream on Netflix.