A woman who lost her son in the 9/11 terrorist attacks has hit out at filmmakers behind Zero Dark Thirty for using a recording of his final call to his family in the Oscar-nominated movie without her permission.
Mary Fetchet was devastated when she learned the voicemail her son Bradley, who worked in the World Trade Center, had left for his relatives on that fateful morning featured in the opening scenes of the drama, which also included other last calls made by victims of the 2001 tragedy.
Fetchet allowed the message to be used in testimony for an official U.S. government investigation into the attacks and it was subsequently used in various Tv news reports, but she had no idea it would be picked up for use in Zero Dark Thirty, which chronicles the decade-long hunt for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, who masterminded the attacks.
She tells CBS news, "My first thought was, 'Isn't anything sacred any more?' I used it in situations where I wanted to convey Brad's story. None of those situations were used for promotional or professional or commercial endeavours."
A representative for the film's distributor, Sony, and studio, Annapurna Pictures, claims attempts to reach out to all family members were made before the movie's release last year (Dec12) and insists the opening scenes were created as a "tribute" to those who lost their lives in the attacks on New York.
Fetchet isn't the first to publicly condemn director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal for failing to seek the proper authorisation to use audio recordings of victims' final phone calls in the movie - the brother of American Airlines flight attendant Betty Ann Ong, who perished when her plane crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11, also recently criticised the insensitive move.
Harry Ong told the New York Times, "I thought it was just outrageous, and totally poor judgment, and an abuse of the voices."
Both Fetchet and Ong have demanded a formal apology from moviemakers.