I want to take a quick break from reporting in Italy to talk about my recent posts explaining how we filmed a circumcision party in Turkey. I apologize if the tone of my writing seemed disrespectful of a topic I didn’t realize people were so passionate about. I now understand that caring people feel very strongly about it. And the discussion on my blog has given me a better appreciation for this issue, which is clearly important to many people. Thank you.

For twenty years, I have made TV shows about European culture. I have shown controversial aspects of many cultures, from force-feeding geese for foie gras in France to bullfights in Spain. In each case, I’ve heard from people — whose opinions I respect — who are passionately against what I’ve shown. They have wanted me not to put these things on television. But in my role as a travel writer and TV producer, I have made a decision not to make judgments about institutions that are important to a culture, whatever my own personal feelings about them might be. It’s not my job to censor them from you, my viewers. These things exist, regardless of whether I (or you) agree with them or oppose them. And as travelers, we all have the opportunity to see them, learn from them, and then draw our own conclusions.

Now, back to Italy!

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