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Gay Talese's Controversial Book Falls Apart in the Trailer for 'Voyeur'

The new documentary digs into the writer's relationship with a hotel owner who claims to have spied on his guests for decades.

VICE Staff

On Thursday, Netflix dropped the first trailer for Voyeur, a documentary that centers on a story that writer Gay Talese spent years working on, only to watch it spiral into a full-blown scandal.

His tale about Gerald Foos—a voyeur who bought a Colorado hotel in the late 60s solely so that he could spy on his guests—would be shady enough as it is. But just after Talese published an excerpt from his 2016 book The Voyeur's Motel in the New Yorker, journalists revealed major inconsistencies in Foos's story, calling the book's journalistic integrity into question and tarnishing Talese's storied career as a writer.

The trailer takes us to Foos's hotel and inside Talese's home, where the journalist and his subject first come off like old pals. But soon the two begin to butt heads as the story they're telling comes under fire, with Talese accusing Foos of backing out on the "deal" they struck—"for me to tell the truth, and for him to live with it"—and Foos accusing Talese of treating his life's work as "some kind of goddamn game."

Filmmakers Myles Kane and Josh Koury snagged intimate access to their subjects, interviewing them alone and as a pair during what appears to be a bulk of the controversy. According to the Hollywood Reporter, that made for a "provocative portrait of a journalistic train wreck," a documentary just as concerned with the gritty details of Foos's voyeurism as the two men's relationship, and how one of Talese's most ambitious projects fell apart.

Voyeur comes to Netflix December 1. Give the trailer a watch above.