After a not-so-flattering portrait of McDowell County was disseminated by the Australian Broadcasting company, many residents felt unfairly portrayed and diminished once again by mainstream media.
This is the response of Renee Bolden on the McDowell County FB page.
Those of who live or have lived in McDowell County knows that not “everything you see is on drugs.” McDowell is so rich in everything but money (coal, history, and talent , just to name a few). There are good and bad people, just like everywhere else. But most (not all) of us from “The County” have a love for it that most other people just don’t understand. Long live the “Free State of McDowell”!
Other thoughts were posted on musician Alan Johnston’s Facebook wall, who was featured in the segment playing music and talking about his family history:
Great interview, my friend, but the rest of the video was garbage. Didn’t interview teachers…educators…professionals……Ms. Battlo was pretty good but (Senator John) Fanning should have known better and the one guy that’s been on drugs all his life…..oh well…..
Alan, You did a good job but this video is garbage. I am so angry that these guys came in here and chose so carefully to make us look so bad. I am so glad that I refused them an interview. I had a funny feeling. oh well. At least we got to hear you sing.
I couldn’t agree more with these ideas and want to emphasize that Hollow will be nothing like this negative, one-sided portrait. Eric Gordon, who is an advisor on the film, commented about the ABC piece in regards to Hollow:
The end and its focus on history and tourism seems more aligned with the story you want to tell. But, again, I think your project is less about a story YOU want to tell, and more of an experiment that asks if you let the people tell the story, will it be different than this?
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
So shame on you Australian Broadcasting Corporation for adding to the library of media that diminishes the importance and culture of this area. It is baffling to me, as a media professional, that such a one-sided and poorly researched piece can be distributed internationally.