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Fox ‘apologises’ to Kenyans for Westgate Mall footage goof

Fox Network has apologised to Kenyans after they aired real footage of the Westgate Mall terror attack in Monday’s episode of their hit series 24 Legacy, according to media reports.

Kenyans were outraged after the American network showed the moment when four unidentified terrorists entered Westgate Mall in Nairobi and started shooting people indiscriminately.

A spokesperson for Fox studios told QZ that the footage was from the attack in Nairobi, carried out by Al-Shabaab militants on Westgate Mall, and said that the producers “very much regret using it to depict a fictional act of terror on the show”.

FOOTAGE TO BE REMOVED

The producers said that the footage would be removed. QZ, however, did not say if the apology was issued publicly or just through the media house.

“In episode 4 of 24: Legacy we regretfully included news footage of an attack in Nairobi. It will be removed from all future broadcasts and versions of the show. We apologize for any pain caused to the victims and their families and are deeply sorry,” reported QZ, quoting a statement from executive producers Evan Katz and Manny Coto.

The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) also weighed in on the matter describing the movie as a “repulsive, insensitive and reckless piece of art that heartlessly evokes the painful memories of the tragic terror attack”.

“It flies in the face of basic considerations of human dignity, in total disregard of the feelings of the victims and their families,” said KFCB CEO Ezekiel Mutua, in a statement.

“Further, the movie goes against the Code of Ethics for the Practice of Journalism in Kenya. It is not only an inaccurate and false narrative of the Westgate terror attack, but also a callous piece of entertainment that demeans Africans and Kenyans in particular.”

Mr Mutua said the board will take necessary action in line with local and international law. “From the Board’s preliminary investigations, it is obvious that the movie was not shot in line with the provisions of the Film and Stage Plays Act Cap 222,” he said.

“The Board has launched further investigations on this matter to establish how the footage was obtained from Kenya, and whether due process was followed.”

The footage in question shows masked gunmen stalking and shooting their victims inside the mall, while panicked crowds that included children taking cover.

In the episode, the agent says the attack was in Alexandria, Egypt where more than 200 people died, “including 18 Americans.”

APOLOGY

During the actual Westgate Mall terror attack, which started on Saturday September 21, 2013, at least 67 died with more than 175 people reportedly wounded.