The writer of the acclaimed Sky and HBO drama series Chernobyl has spoken out about the proliferation of lewd and inappropriate selfies taken by tourists visiting the nuclear disaster site in Ukraine. This was reported by The Guardian.
Since the five-part miniseries about the 1986 catastrophe at the former Soviet Union power plant began airing in May, tourism at the site has reportedly increased by 30–40%. Social media influencers visiting the site have been subject to criticism in recent days for using renewed interest in the disaster to stage glamour shots for their Instagram accounts.
Posts from the plant on social media include one showing a woman with a hazmat suit undone to reveal a G-string.
“It’s wonderful that Chernobyl HBO has inspired a wave of tourism to the Zone of Exclusion,” screenwriter Craig Mazin tweeted on Wednesday morning. “But yes, I’ve seen the photos going around.
“If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed.”
The HBO series follows the immediate aftermath of the nuclear reactor explosion at the power plant in the town of Prypyat, and the political repercussions of the disturbing and horrendous toll it took on the people, animals and environment in the region.
Two people died at the scene of the explosion and another 28 from acute radiation poisoning over the following weeks, while about 1,000 firefighters and emergency services workers experienced high radiation doses during that time, according to the World Health Organisation. The estimated 116,000 people who lived in Prypyat and within a 30km radius of the site were evacuated in the weeks following.
The disaster site has been open to tourists since the late 1990s, but has increased in popularity over the last five to 10 years, particularly the ghost town of Prypyat and the surrounding woods. Visitors are screened for radiation levels on entry and exit, and sometimes wear hazmat suits and carry devices to measure radiation levels.
The exclusion zone has also become an important refuge for wildlife.