Society

Zero Dark Thirty Used Real Clips of Victim's Voices without Family Permission

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Parents of one 9/11 victim are furious after film Zero Dark Thirty used their son’s last words in the movie without their permission.

Brad Fetchet left his mother a message before the tower collapsed, letting her know he was okay.

The film’s makers used this message in the beginning of the movie. Since the movie’s release, it’s made more than $90 million. His voice is not the only real clip used, either. Other voices from the 3,000 who died were used, including ones who made calls to their loved ones or emergency services.

Mark and Frank Fetchet, Brad’s parents, said the film brought back painful memories.

The message said: “Hey Mom. I’m sure you’ve heard a plane crashed into World Trade Center One. I’m obviously alive and well but obviously pretty scared. Saw a guy fall out of probably the 91st storey all the way down. You’re welcome to give a call. Love you.”

Those were the last words Brad ever said to his mother.

“Losing a loved one so horribly - the ongoing anguish we’ve been going through - it’s a treasured remembrance, it’s a treasured message. It’s ours,” Frank said.

Unfortunately, the message is now heard by everyone who watches the film.

The family used the recording in a testimony for the September 11 commission and had allowed it to be used in TV news reports, but they never gave the producers of Zero Dark Thirty permission to use it.

They were not even asked.

“I used it in situations where I wanted to convey Brad’s story,” Mary said. “None of those situations were used for promotional or professional or commercial endeavors.”

The film’s distributor, Sony, released a statement saying the film was a tribute to victims of September 11 and “before the film’s release, they initiated contact with a number of family members of the victims of the 9/11 attacks.”

Frank said the only contact they had with the makers was when they asked them to see the film.

“To say they’ve reached out to families, yeah, reached out to say, ‘come to the preview’ after the film is already completed,” Frank said.

The Fetchet’s aren’t the only family angered by the film’s use of real clips. The family of Betty Ann Ong, an air-stewardess, is also upset they used her voice.

She made a call just before the plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center. She called American Airline’s operations center to tell them the plane was hijacked.

The Ong family wants the makers of the film to issue a public apology and set up a donation to charity in her name.

“I thought it was just outrageous, and totally poor judgment, and an abuse of the voices,” Harry Ong, Betty’s brother, said.

NYTimes