When Linsey Davis appeared on “Good Morning America” on Friday from Woodruff, South Carolina, she told a horrifying story of a woman held captive in a storage container for two months. In the background, a police line with the words “SHERIFF LINE DO NOT CROSS” was clearly visible.
But according to a photo published by CNN Money, that line was not the work of actual police officers. It was a prop included by a producer to make it seem as though Davis was just in front of a crime scene. Off-camera, the tape was tied to two pieces of ABC equipment.
“This action is completely unacceptable and fails to meet the standards of ABC News,” Julie Townsend, the vice president of communications at ABC News, told CNN. “As soon as it was brought to our attention, we decided to take the producer out of the field, and we're investigating further.”
The segment included footage of the actual crime scene, where investigators were combing through a field in an attempt to find the body of the boyfriend of the kidnapped woman, from a different time, and Davis says during the clip that the field behind her is the same one. Davis has not commented on the fake police tape.
ABC’s website features a partial clip of the segment in which Davis’s voice can be heard but she is never actually seen.
ABC also admitted this past April to staging a shot of a fake reservation list for a segment on a supposedly exclusive New York restaurant, according to The New Yorker.
This is also not the first time Davis has been involved in controversy in just the past week. On Wednesday, footage from Davis’s “Nightline” interview with rapper Lil Wayne was released in which the musical artist distanced himself from the Black Lives Matter movement. But after the video came out, Lil Wayne tried to partially backtrack on his comments, according to the New York Daily News and TMZ.
He apologized for offending anyone and criticized Davis for asking a question about whether he would be offended if his daughter were called derogatory terms, saying, “When the reporter began asking me questions about my daughter ... I got agitated. From there, there was no thought put into her questions and my responses,” according to TMZ. He also asked ABC not to air the segment, but the network refused.