The BBC has withdrawn Human Planet from distribution after admitting that the series faked scenes of an Indonesian hunter harpooning a whale.
The natural history programme is currently available on Netflix but will be withdrawn within 24 hours while the corporation conducts an “editorial review”.
It is the second Human Planet fakery story this month. It emerged that film-makers had staged scenes of a rainforest tribe supposedly living in a treehouse 140 feet from the ground.
The opening episode of the 2011 series visited the Indonesian island of Lembata and focused on a young man named Benjamin Blikololong. He was shown jumping into the sea during a sperm whale hunt, and viewers were told he had succeeded in harpooning it.
A voiceover from John Hurt said: “Benjamin’s moment has arrived.” After he leapt into the water brandishing the weapon, Hurt said: “He’s got it.” Viewers are then Blikololong received a larger share of the whale meat because he “struck the decisive blow”.