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Fred Fawcett

Fred Fawcett

1966. . . a feature on a patient at the Ontario Hospital for the Criminally Insane caused controversy not for the subject matter, but for the production methods, which Walker judged to have contravened CBC policy.

To interview inmate Fred Fawcett, after a first request was turned down, a Seven Days crew accompanied his sister on one of her regular visits to the hospital at Penetanguishene, carrying their equipment in picnic baskets. The guards assumed that they were relatives, and made no attempt to keep them from entering or to stop their interview.

Although the Director of News and Public Affairs objected strongly to the means by which the interview was procured, he did not prevent the item from airing, and Fred Fawcett was seen to be sane or to have been rehabilitated sufficiently not to be hospitalized, emphasized when he admitted to the camera, about the trial and commitment:

"The doctors said I was insane... I was satisfied for the court to make that decision."

(Quoted, Douglas Leiterman, "You Can't Tell TV: 'Don't Peek,'" Maclean's [23 July 1966], p. 30)