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Katie Couric Responds to ‘Under the Gun’ Editing Criticism

Katie Couric, director Stephanie Soechtig and Epix have all issued statements after their gun violence documentary “Under the Gun” came under fire from pro-gun groups over the editing of a particular scene.

The film received criticism over a segment in which Couric asks members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?” In the footage shown in the film, her question appeared to be received by blank stares and an 8-second silence. However, audio acquired by conservative site Ammoland seems to indicate that there was no pause and the group responded to Couric’s question immediately.

Soechtig said of the editing choice: “There are a wide range of views expressed in the film. My intention was to provide a pause for the viewer to have a moment to consider this important question before presenting the facts on Americans’ opinions on background checks. I never intended to make anyone look bad and I apologize if anyone felt that way.”

Couric, who is an executive producer on the film, stated the following: “I support Stephanie’s statement and am very proud of the film.”

Epix also expressed support for Soechtig in a statement: “‘Under the Gun’ is a critically-acclaimed documentary that looks at the polarizing and politicized issue of gun violence, a subject that elicits strong reactions from people on both sides. Epix stands behind Katie Couric, director Stephanie Soechtig, and their creative and editorial judgment. We encourage people to watch the film and decide for themselves.”

The documentary premiered at Sundance earlier this year and was aired by Epix on May 14. Variety’s review called the film “an essential primer on the rise of gun violence in the U.S. With this follow-up to the food-industry takedown ‘Fed Up,’ director Stephanie Soechtig again proves her knack for crafting advocacy docs that resonate.”

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