Errol Morris Apologizes for What 'The Thin Blue Line' Did to Documentaries

"You solve a murder mystery and then people think that's all documentary should do"
Errol Morris Apologizes for What 'The Thin Blue Line' Did to Documentaries
Photo via Bridget Laudien
Long before it was a right-wing slogan reserved for truck decals and even before it was a short-lived Rowan Atkinson sitcom, the phrase "the thin blue line" was used as the title for Errol Morris' fantastic true-crime documentary The Thin Blue Line. A lot has changed since 1988, however, and the doc has since spawned numerous uninspired — and super viral — copycats. And Morris says he's sorry.

Morris' film successfully argued that Randall Dale Adams, a man on death row, had been wrongfully convicted of murder. The documentary's release resulted in Adams' freedom.

If it sounds like a familiar tale, that's because just about every true crime doc — from Making a Murderer to Tiger King to even the American Vandal mockumentary — since has attempted to dismantle legal cases, overturn murder convictions or solve mysteries beyond simple reporting.

It's at the point where they're starting to feel a little stock, as Morris sums up in his tweet on the subject:
 
Of course, Morris is still active in the true crime genre. His book A Wilderness of Error has been adapted for television this year with the new series of the same name.