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Critics Bash Disney For Recreating Terrorist Bombing For TV Show Blocks Away From the Original Site

Disney recreates London terrorist attack for a television show
Credit: Mark Norman Francis, Flickr

There are certain touchstone moments in history that are seared into our collective memories. Nearly everyone who was alive can remember the exact moment when President Kennedy was killed. For those of us who are younger, you can remember the very moment you heard about the planes crashing into the World Trade Center on 9/11. As a nation, we have an understanding that those tragedies are not meant for pop culture fodder.

Sad Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse in Mourning. Credit: Disney

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However, we are not the only nation that has suffered a tragedy or a terrorist attack that shook the nation. For Spain, the date 3/11 is carved into their nation’s history. On that date in 2004, terrorists bombed four commuter trains in Madrid, killing 180 and wounding another 1,800. For the British, that date is July 7. Four terrorists set off bombs in London, three on commuter trains and one on a bus, killing 56 and wounding another 700.

For us, as Americans, if someone were to recreate the 9/11 attacks within blocks from the World Trade Center site or at the Pentagon, we would be outraged and deeply offended. But that is precisely what Walt Disney Studios is doing in London.

Disney has recreated the bombing of the Number 30 bus a few blocks away from the actual site where the real bus was bombed in London. The recreation is for a television show, Suspect: The Shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.

Public Memorial for London Bombing victims

Public Memorial for London Bombing Victims. Credit: Jaimelondonboy, Flickr

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Fans, neighbors, those injured in the attack, and those who lost loved ones were outraged that Disney would even consider recreating one of the most horrific days in London history, let alone do it within blocks of the actual incident.

Survivor Daniel Biddle, who was seriously injured in the attack, said:

It’s absolutely shameful. I can’t ever forget 7/7 or get over it. This is a lack of respect by Disney. It’s pretty sick not to consult those who were injured or the loved ones of those who lost their lives.

Jean Charles de Menezes was a 27-year-old electrician who was living in London at the time of the fatal bombings. When police were combing the scene of the bombings, they found a gym card with an address they believed was the home of the terrorist ring leader.

When police arrived at the address, they witnessed Jean Charles de Menezes leaving the apartment building. Police followed him for a few blocks and allegedly told him to stop. When he refused, police shot him seven times in the head and once in the shoulder at point-blank range.

The Met Police later said that they told Jean Charles de Menezes to stop, and he refused, and that his clothing and behavior made them suspect that he was somehow involved in the attack.

Moment of silence in London

Moment of silence in London following the 7/7 bombings. Credit: Drew Leavy, Flickr

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It was later revealed that Jean Charles de Menezes did not have anything to do with the terror attack, and it was simply a case of mistaken identity. Disney is currently filming a TV drama based on his case and using dramatic re-enactments as a part of that show.

A spokesperson for Disney said:

The team producing the series has significant expertise in this type of programming, incorporating extensive in-depth research that has been approached with the utmost sensitivity and respect, and all involved are conscious of the huge responsibility that comes with telling this story. 

However, bus driver George Psaradakis disagrees, calling it “tasteless.” Psaradakis was driving the Number 30 bus at the time of the explosion. He added, “This will bring pain to everyone, especially to those who lost their loved ones.”

Survivors, their family members, and Londonites seem to agree that filming a TV drama blocks away from a terror attack is in poor taste, even if it is trying to recreate the scene. Survivors and the family members of those killed in the attacks should not have to relive such an incident ever again.

About Rick

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

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