A number of Instagram ‘influencers’ have been criticised for flocking to Chernobyl to take what many have branded as “insensitive” photos for social media.
Over the last month, the new hit HBO series Chernobyl, which tells the story of the 1986 nuclear disaster near Pripyat in the Ukraine, has become the highest rated TV show of all time on IMDB.
Chernobyl became the world’s worst nuclear disaster in April 1986, with 31 people officially recorded as killed but estimates ranging from 4,000 to 93,000 as a result of the fallout. The site has been an open tourist destination since 2011, with tours taking visitors around the power plant and the nearby abandoned town of Pripyat. However as CNN reports, tourism has seen a spike of 35% this year in the wake of the show’s success.
Among them are a number of social media influencers, who have been sharing fashion-shoot style photos and posing around the site.
si buscáis las fotos por ubicación Chernobyl en Instagram os podéis encontrar este tipo de cosas pic.twitter.com/uxGF0jiOyp
— lettyxmaspop ❄️ (@lettipop) June 6, 2019
Commenting on a photo of Instagram user nz.nik posing in her underwear, one follower said: “This photo is disrespectful to the people who lost their lives. How insensitive can you be?”
Others have labelled the images as “stupid”, “opportunistic” and “disrespectful in the extreme”.
Responding to the images, Chernobyl show creator Craig Mazin urged people to show a little more sensitivity.
“It’s wonderful that #ChernobylHBO has inspired a wave of tourism to the Zone of Exclusion,” he wrote on Twitter. “But yes, I’ve seen the photos going around. If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed.”
It's wonderful that #ChernobylHBO has inspired a wave of tourism to the Zone of Exclusion. But yes, I've seen the photos going around.
If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed.
— Craig Mazin (@clmazin) June 11, 2019
Chernobyl was directed by Breaking Bad’s Johan Renck and was created, written, and executive produced by Craig Mazin (The Huntsman: Winter’s War). It stared Jared Harris (The Crown, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) as a Soviet nuclear physicist, Stellan Skarsgård (Good Will Hunting) as the Soviet Deputy Prime Minister, and Jessie Buckley (Taboo) as the wife of a firefighter called to the nuclear power plant.
- Read more: Finished ‘Chernobyl’? These nuclear fall-out shows explore similarly terrifying territory
Last week, it was reported that, despite the show’s high IMDB rating, some viewers in Russia were not fans. A Russian-made TV series based on the disaster is now being planned by filmmaker Alexei Muradov.
The director told The Moscow Times his version would focus on the theory the CIA infiltrated the Chernobyl power plant. “Many historians do not deny that, on the day of the explosion, an agent of the enemy’s intelligence services was present at the station,” he said.