Monday’s episode of 24: Legacy featured footage of a terrorist attack that hit a little too close to reality. Instead of faking some news footage for the show’s storyline, the producers used real footage from the 2013 Westgate shopping mall terror attacks in Nairobi. The attacks resulted in 67 dead and 175 injured after four masked gunmen from the al-Shabaab terror group stormed the mall and opened fire. The New York Times described the attacks as “chilling” and HBO produced a documentary that put faces to the terror of that day.
“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.”
Fox confirmed that the footage was indeed of the Nairobi attacks and echoed the sentiments in Katz and Coto’s statement. The apology comes after outrage spread on social media, connected to the hashtag #SomeoneTellFox. Most of the outrage was not directed at the use of the footage itself, but more that it was a placeholder for a fictional attack in Egypt.
It is certainly not the first time a real life moment has played stand in for television and film, but this was definitely a questionable choice with the current climate around the globe.