Q

Robert Cooper explores Canada's tainted blood scandal in new miniseries Unspeakable

Unspeakable takes us inside the tainted blood scandal that shook Canada back in the '80s. Cooper was one of the people infected with hepatitis C. He joins guest host Ali Hassan to share his story.
Camille Sullivan as Alice Landry, Shawn Doyle as Ben Landry. (Michael Courtney)
Listen14:07

How do you take a real event, something tragic, and turn it into a TV series? For Robert Cooper, the best way to go about it is to make it as true to reality as possible.

Cooper is the showrunner behind the new CBC miniseries Unspeakable, which takes us inside the tainted blood scandal that shook Canada back in the '80s.

At that time, thousands of Canadians were infected with HIV and hepatitis C after the Red Cross was slow to start screening donated blood. Hundreds died, there was a criminal investigation and federal inquiry, and millions of dollars in reparations were eventually paid to families and victims. All of it could have been prevented. 

Cooper was one of the people infected with hepatitis C. He was just a kid when it happened and it's had a huge impact on his life, so he decided to make it the subject of his latest television project. 

He joins guest host Ali Hassan to share his story and talk about the making of Unspeakable. The miniseries premieres on Jan. 9, 2019 on CBC. 

— Produced by ​Vanessa Nigro

Miss an episode of CBC q? Download our podcast.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.