Unvaccinated—or unmasked? BBC documentary participant speaks

In a fascinating and significant interview, Luca Barbarossa—one of seven participants in the BBC's Unvaccinated documentary screened on 20 July 2022—agreed to talk to UK Column for the first time since the programme was aired and to set the record straight about what really happened on and off camera.

Luca describes his stay as like living in a "Big Brother unvaccinated house", complete with a diary room for the participants to offload any concerns to the production team. What was it like to live with strangers, all with different reasons for not having taken a Covid vaccine and all determined to question the narrative?

A career actor since 2016, Luca Barbarossa has recently appeared in a major bank's commercial for financial compatibility matchmaking. He is refreshingly open in this interview. Luca is not, and has never been, a 'crisis actor', and had only applied to take part in the documentary to address his own concerns about Covid-19 vaccine safety, the serious side effects and the impact the injection has had on his own family.

Luca reveals what impact watching the heavily-edited documentary had on him, and how he feels utterly misrepresented, ridiculed and lambasted by many on social media. He discusses having felt panic-stricken on the last day of filming when, with no forewarning given to any of the participants, they were told that they were expected to attend a vaccination centre to be asked if they would now take the vaccine.  

Offensive, inaccurate and inappropriate games, such as jellybean roulette to illustrate victims of myocarditis—a recognised serious adverse reaction from the injection, affecting thousands of young people globally, some fatally—were among the simplistic presentational techniques that Professor Hannah Fry attempted, to the horror of the participants' group. Yet the consternation runs deeper than simply stunts. Scripting, misinformation, exaggerated and incorrect data are among the problems with Unvaccinated. Scientists with huge conflicts of interest from their Big Pharma commitments were the only experts presented to the group. Luca describes the documentary process as being one-sided with no fair debate.

Normally chatty and confident himself, Luca was left with the impression that others in the group were being given more opportunity to comment during the documentary because they were more insistent than he was. This led to dissension within the group; strife which Professor Hannah Fry and the production team appeared to enjoy and even encourage. Crucial conversations were edited out, such as a serious one with well-known former Love Island contestant Dr Alex George, yet squabbles among the participants made the final cut. 

It is evident from Luca's testimony here that he is a highly-informed, passionate and confident man. He spent many hours researching the Covid vaccine issue, yet—despite strongly challenging the evidence with experts presented to him by the BBC—he never received any satisfactory answers. Luca admits that the whole experience has made him even more suspicious, not merely of the injection but also of scientists, academics, doctors, nurses and government. Indeed, he is far from alone: many have expressed their complete mistrust of professionals across the board, some professing that they never want to see an NHS medic or trust a Big Pharma-affiliated doctor again.  

What was conceived of as a candidate for a BAFTA award-winning documentary appears to have become one of the most revelatory moments in the two-year history of the Covid pandemic to date, for all the wrong reasons. Unvaccinated could perhaps more aptly have been dubbed Unveiled or Unmasked. The participants—braving the BBC and navigating their way through a frankly horrific experience—should be applauded for having achieved far more than their principal aim of bringing attention to serious adverse reactions and the question of whether to go for a Covid jab or not. They have done nothing short of exposing a chasm of mistrust of all experts and the media.

The BBC was taken to task and failed spectacularly. The producers thought their supposedly trusted celebrity messengers would be able to persuade seven very well-read participants to go against their better judgement and offer their arms up for an experimental injection for which there is simply no long-term safety data. The BBC failed and the participants triumphed. Far from succeeding in demeaning the group, the BBC met its match and then some. Unwittingly, the BBC allowed those better informed than its own staff to ask questions that they could not answer.

None of the group accepted Professor Hannah Fry's offer of a Covid jab. The participants concluded that there was no new evidence to induce confidence in the word of the BBC's experts, and Luca Barbarossa—a healthy young man—cannot see any point in having an injection which protects neither him nor others from the 'infection'.

This is a warning that we would all do well to heed. We would like to thank Luca for his bravery and candour. His account affords invaluable insight into how the BBC works, or rather doesn't work, on the strength of its £5 billion budget. Professor Hannah Fry, a prolific tweeter, has been curiously very quiet about Unvaccinated. Will this be the documentary the BBC wishes it had never aired?

UK Column will be doing further work on this monumental documentary, it has opened the BBC's very own Pandora's box. Unvaccinated might be destined long to remain a thorn in the BBC's side.