'Zero Dark Thirty' Blasted by 9/11 Victim's Family Over Recorded Call in Opening Scene
Already receiving criticism from politicians and many others due to its controversial content, "Zero Dark Thirty (2012)" is facing new complaint. The movie about the hunt of Osama bin Laden is slammed by the family of a 9/11 victim Betty Ann Ong, a flight attendant who died in the tragic incident.
The family accuses the filmmakers of using Ms. Ong's recorded voice on a call from American Airlines Flight 11 before it hit the World Trade Center in the movie's opening sequence without consent. "I thought it was just outrageous, and totally poor judgment, and an abuse of the voices," her brother Henry Ong says, reasoning that use of the recording "has First Amendment value."
They demand an apology at the Academy Awards ceremony should the movie or any of its makers win. The family also wants a donation set up on behalf of Ms. Ong.
Furthermore, the family wants Sony Pictures Entertainment to credit Ms. Ong and make it clear in a statement on both on its website and on home entertainment versions of the film that the family doesn't support torture, which is among the movie's controversial contents.
In response to the complaint, Mark Boal who serves as the movie's writer and one of the producers says in an email to New York Times, "As the 9/11 commission justly proclaimed, Betty Ong is without a doubt one of our national heroes."
The filmmakers additionally say in a statement that they have been in close contact with the families of the victims since making the movie, adding that their work "is, in some small way, a tribute to those forever affected by the attacks."
They have already donated to the memorial and museum being built at ground zero. A statement paying tribute to "the victims and the families of the 9/11 attacks" is included at the end of the movie, and names of victims and links to foundations are added to the film's official website.
"Zero Dark Thirty" gets five nominations at the upcoming 85th annual Oscars, including Best Actress for Jessica Chastain and Best Original Screenplay for Mark Boal.
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