Billy telefeature under fire for inaccuracies
The drama – not to be confused with the hit feature film documentary Billy T: Te Movie – screened last Sunday on TV One, attracting over 730,000 viewers.
However, friends and family close to Billy T James, including actor Peter Rowley and James’ daughter Cherie James commented this week on Facebook, saying that the production was poorly researched and inaccurate.
“Sorry to have to say this but last nights movie on TV 1 was FULL of inaccuracies!!!!!,” wrote Rowley. “When we wrote the TV show I stayed at Billy’s house (1985–1987) and most of what I saw last night on “Billy” just did not happen!!!! If the tax payer has to front up with 2.4mil to make a movie full of lies then I object… This was based on the book which I have read and it to was not researched enough…”
Cherie James called the drama “an absolute disgrace to the mana of my intelligent, witty, courageous and strong, complicated, humble, talented, gentle and beautiful father.”
Of the scene where the family home was shot at and Billy’s friend revealed a gun, she wrote: “He was not even at our house when we were shot at and he was NOT a crook.”
She went on to say: “Telling a web of lies and profiting from them is one thing, but to orchestrate the massive deceit and ridiculous portrayal of this truly special man to the country is deplorable, offensive and unholy. I feel outraged, embarrassed and very saddened by this.”