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Doctors Restore Ken Burns’ Full-Color Vision After Removing Massive Tumor From Filmmaker’s Visual Cortex

CLEVELAND—Speaking to reporters following the successful eight-hour procedure Tuesday, neurosurgeons at the Cleveland Clinic confirmed they had removed a golf ball–sized tumor from the visual cortex of filmmaker Ken Burns, restoring the documentarian’s ability to see in full color. “We’re happy to report that the surgery went smoothly, and beginning today, Mr. Burns will no longer be limited to perceiving the world in shades of black, white, and sepia, and will instead be able to experience the entire spectrum of hues that most of us take for granted,” said Dr. Amrita Singh, noting that the 63-year-old director and producer of The Civil War, Prohibition, and Jazz had awakened from anesthesia and was reported to be marveling at the vividness of his surroundings, human faces, and photographs. “It appears that the removal of this tumor also reduced intense pressure that had built up inside Mr. Burns’ visual processing center; as a result, his eyesight has sharpened considerably, and he’ll notice that he won’t need to lean in close anymore to make out the details of images. It’s going to seem like a whole new world to him.” Dr. Singh added that an additional inner-ear surgery would be required to correct the balance issue that causes Burns to slowly drift from left to right.

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