‘Last Dance’ director Jason Hehir responds to Ken Burns’s criticism of Michael Jordan having too much influence

The Last Dance has been a ratings and critical success for ESPN during the past month, with the final two episodes still to come (Sunday, May 17). Yet the praise hasn’t been universal. For instance, some viewers have taken issue with the documentary’s non-linear storytelling, the narrative toggling back-and-forth from one point of Michael Jordan’s career and the Chicago Bulls’ dynastic championship run to another. One of the most public criticisms of The Last Dance came from fellow documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, who told The Wall Street Journal that he believed Jordan’s involvement in producing the 10-part film was “not the way you do good history. ” For his latest “Media Circus” column, The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch asked Last Dance director Jason Hehir for a response to Burns’s criticism. In Burns’s view, Jordan and his production company exerting influence over the process made it impossible to do the “good journalism” that documentaries require.

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