Published: Fri, June 14, 2019

Show Creator Pleads For Chernobyl Tourists To Stop Taking Crazy Photos

Show Creator Pleads For Chernobyl Tourists To Stop Taking Crazy Photos

"They recognize that we made this with love and respect for them, and that we tried our hardest to get the details right, which I think from their perspective Western productions often either fail to do, or don't try to do at all", Mazin said.

"If you visit, please remember that a bad tragedy occurred there", he continued.

Craig Mazin, writer and producer of the Chernobyl series, is asking tourists heading to the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster to be more respectful. "Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed", he added.

Although no one is allowed to live in the 2,600 square kilometer (1,000 square mile) zone around the former Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, visiting the city of Chernobyl and the closer town of Pripyat is allowed under tightly controlled conditions with official guides.

Since the release of HBO's Chernobyl miniseries, Instagram influencers have been caught posting half-naked photos of themselves as well as posing insensitively in the death zone. A 2005 report suggested that fewer than 50 people died because of the exposure to radiation but estimates suggest up to 9000 people can eventually die.

From the Auschwitz concentration camp to the Berlin Holocaust memorial, social media users chasing likes and followers have often been accused of being insensitive to their surroundings.

The nuclear wasteland has become a major tourist attraction since the May premiere of an HBO miniseries about the 1986 power plant tragedy, with some tour groups reporting a 40 percent spike in bookings.

"We ask our clients not to take disrespectful pictures", SoloEast director Sergiy Ivanchuk, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

However, writing at The Atlantic, Taylor Lorenz disputes this, saying numerous photographers appeared to be ordinary Ukrainians and the selfies weren't meant to offend but were merely reflecting the "shifting norms around how people document their lives and experiences on Instagram".

Although the visitors don't need to wear hazmat suits anymore; they must undergo military passport checks before entering the site and are also strictly warned not to touch anything.

The disaster and the government's handling of it highlighted the shortcomings of the Soviet system with its unaccountable bureaucrats and entrenched culture of secrecy.

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