By Ben Thompson
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, due to be released on March 15th, has already sparked controversy. Netflix commissioned the series in 2017, but it is only just making it onto the streaming service – production was allegedly delayed due to key figures in the investigation refusing to appear on camera.
The eight-part documentary series will feature interviews with key figures involved with the case, most controversially Goncalo Amaral. Amaral was the Portuguese detective who led the initial investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance in May 2007. Since then, he has repeatedly accused the McCanns of playing a part in covering up their daughter’s disappearance – an allegation that Kate and Gerry McCann continue to strongly deny.
Other controversial theories about the young girl’s disappearance are also to be investigated in the forthcoming documentary – including the theory that she was taken by human traffickers because she was ‘white and middle class’.
On their website, the McCanns issued a statement condemning the Netflix documentary: ‘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.’
Though they were asked by producers to participate in the documentary, the McCanns refused to be interviewed.
A Netflix spokesperson said: “By blending new interviews with more than 40 contributors, 120 hour of interviews, archival news footage and reenactments, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann goes beyond the headlines and takes a unique look at the facts of the case as well as its impact on media standards around the world.”
Nearly twelve years after her disappearance, Madeleine McCann is still generating headlines around the world. This documentary is only the latest to capitalise on the public’s fascination with the case.