Let’s just call this one of those insensitive times where Hollywood makes money off an African tragedy.
A recently aired episode of Fox’s spy thriller, 24 Legacy, used a real life footage of the Kenyan Westgate Mall attack for the show.
The Westgate Mall massacre is one of the most sensitive attacks that the African country has not forgotten in a hurry.
It was out-rightly insensitive that the Western TV producers used a real life clip without consultation or consideration.
Imagine what the psychological impact will be for witnesses and survivors of the attack who watched the episode. It was not a smart move on any level and Kenyans are wondering if it never crossed the producer’s mind, that the clip was much more than the few bucks they hope to make with it.
The Westgate Mall massacre claimed the lives of 67 people and over 175 injured. 48 of the dead victims were Kenyans while the rest were foreign nationals.
The attack took place on September 21, 2013 when about 4 unidentified armed men opened fire on people at Westgate shopping mall, Nairobi, Kenya. Al-Shabab terrorists claimed responsibility for the attack.
As used in the 24 Legacy series, the footage, served as an illustration of a pending havoc by a villain. According to the plot of the episode, the video which showed a masked gun man engaged in mass shooting in a mall, was a past record of the antagonist’s exploits which supposedly took place in Egypt.
It was played by a counterintelligence agent, warning the US authorities of the possibility of a terrorist attack.
Kenyans who saw the episode fished out the origin of the video and took to the internet to blast Fox for the callous use of the real footage for the fictional show.
They took to Twitter to air their grievances against the producers of the show under the hashtags #SomeoneTellFox and #Westgate
Below are some of the Tweets by sad Kenyans:
Moses Amolo (@mosesamolo)-
“#SomeoneTellFox @FOXTV How can you make money on the graves of our brothers and sisters, the actual attack footage? Seeing them being shot?”
Sam Gichuru (@samgichuru)
“#SomeoneTellFox that you were very insensitive to do this to those who still have nightmares and lost loved ones.”
Pauline Mwia (@meukim)
“#Someonetellfox have you stooped so low as to use live footage of a real terrorist attack for your show? Kenya is not happy”
Another internet user, Ichara Ian put up a post on Facebook asking how okay it would be for America if a real footage of 9/11 was used for entertainment.
“Belittling is an understatement for what you just did to affected … Kenyan lives. Can you imagine a 9/11 footage, be it a fictional or Sci-fi movie being referred to as a Toronto, Canada attack by Bin-Khaziga?”
In response to the social media outrage, the producers of the Fox show issued an apology and said that the footage would be removed.
“In episode 4 of 24: Legacy we regretfully included news footage of an attack in Nairobi. It will be removed from all future broadcasts and versions of the show. We apologize for any pain caused to the victims and their families and are deeply sorry.”