There was a scene in the documentary American Teen, where the documentarian sits idly by as the teenage boy subjects commit the crime of distributing a sext sent by one of their female colleagues. It was a moment where one hopes for fiction, because the ramifications of the documentarian using the veil of journalistic non-intervention to justify allowing a girl's life to be destroyed is monstrous.
Voyeur begs some similar questions, though in this case the documentarians are tertiary players, covering the journalist who covered the heart of the story in years before. Gay Talese (who eerily reminded me of Robert Durst), made his name embedding (and participating) in the swinging 60s. That's a consensual culture, so whatever. However, that reporting caught the attention of Gerald Foss, a motel owner in Aurora, Colorado (this motel was a few miles from where I lived in Denver and I drove by it at least once back before it was torn down). Foss would tell Talese the story of how he set up his motel to allow him to spy on his lodgers, and would welcome Talese in to see how it functions.
Like I said, the documentary cannot really be accused of participating in this because it takes place after the fact and only captures things in the form of reenactment. Still, just in the framing, it spends a lot of time letting Talese frame things. It looks at Foss' meticulous notes on what he watches as if putting a pseudoscientific veneer on the venture somehow justifies it. Ultimately, by focusing on Foss' and Talese's viewpoints, it does the traditional sin of caring about the offender and not the victim. There is no serious discussion of journalistic ethics and whether Talese can be justified in not reporting the ongoing crimes, much less participating in them in a limited capacity. There is no discussion on what kind of mental fall-out might exist for those who stayed who perhaps remained unaware of the violation at the time, but upon the breaking of the story might have plenty reason to be concerned. Hell, it doesn't even delve much into voyeurism as a psychological fixation. It seems the documentary only exists to glorify a bad man and a bad journalist. Just terribly misjudged.