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American TV Show’s erroneous use of
footage of Kenya’s mall attack draws ire

By Christine Lagat NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyans from all walks of life have reacted with fury over insensitive use of a footage on the Westgate mall terrorist attack by producers of America’s Fox TV show dubbed 24 legacy.

The producers of the Fox TV’s spy thriller picked footage of the terrorist attack on the upscale Westgate mall and deceived viewers the attack occurred in Egypt where 200 people including 18 Americans died.

Many Kenyans who watched the fictional episode were appalled by the footage that revived memories of the September 2013 terrorist attack by Al-Shabaab militants on Westgate mall where 67 people died.

By Wednesday afternoon, Kenyans were unrelenting in their criticism of Fox producers for capitalizing on their nation’s tragic past for monetary gain.

A hashtag by the name Someone TellFox was trending the better part of Wednesday to denounce insensitive use of the Westgate terrorist attack footage by Fox producers.

Kenyans threw a barrage of criticism on the leading American TV station even as producers of Fox Spy thriller apologized for their actions.

The irate Kenyans were not convinced by Fox Producers’ belated apology and slammed them for profiting on the plight of terror victims.

Charles Murage, a Nairobi based events planner decried insensitive depiction of tragedies in Kenya and other parts of Africa by leading American media firms.

“The Fox TV show that wrongly inserted the gory images of frightened terror victims inside Westgate mall only confirmed old prejudices of western media when it comes to highlighting Africa’s issues,” said Murage.

Kenyans’ beef with American media firms escalated in July 2015 when CNN described the east African nation a “hotbed of terror” ahead of former President Barrack Obama’s maiden visit.

The high octane criticism of CNN for its negative portray of East Africa’s largest economy drew condemnation from senior government officials and ordinary citizens.

The episode forced senior CNN executives to perform a damage control by flying to Kenya to issue a fervent apology.

Murage and a huge multitude of Kenyans who were offended by Fox’s spy thriller said American media’s credibility was at stake thanks to their inaccurate portray of the country and the region.

“It is reckless and inappropriate for producers of a TV show that commands large viewership to use a tragic episode in this country to deceive the world,” Murage remarked.

Other Kenyans were unrestrained in their criticism of Fox TV for its blatant violation of basic decency to run an episode that reminded them of a dark past.

“Our tragedy is not a script for your movies,” a Kenyan named Sleek commented on Someone TellFox Hashtag that was trending the whole of Wednesday

Experts who spoke to Xinhua were categorical that Western Media must salvage its dented image in Kenya by highlighting objective, well researched and culturally sensitive stories.

Steve Ndegwa, a Nairobi based media analyst said the producers of Fox TV show should have done adequate research to avoid the missteps that earned them the wrath of Kenyan viewers.

“Misrepresentation of facts that is rampant in western media has often made us believe they are racist. The producers of Fox TV show should have done their research well to avoid the latest mishap,” said Ndegwa.

He added that objective reporting by foreign media entities is key to minimizing antagonism with the audience in their host country.

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