Rose Byrne’s new film They Are Us, based on her role in Bridesmaids, has sparked debate. It casts her in the role of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, with the plot focusing on the real-life politician’s response to the 2019 Christchurch mosque killings (via The Hollywood Reporter).
Andrew Niccol, the writer/director of Gattaca and Lord of War, is the guy behind it, basing the title on Ardern’s emotive address about the victims of the assault.
However, when word of the FilmNation initiative spread, survivors, authors, activists, and many Muslims expressed their collective displeasure with its presence – the hashtag #TheyAreUsShutdown even began trending.
“Refuse to allow them to use your whereabouts. Say no to renting equipment. Say no to being gifted. Says no to become a crew member. Refrain from interviewing them or promoting them on your media channels. Say no to the film They Are Us #GiveNothingToRacism #TheyAreUShutdown.”
Ardern has publicly distanced herself from the video, stating that “neither she nor the Government had any participation” in it.
The NZ Herald’s Mohamed Hassan began writing: “The video opted to concentrate on the prime minister and the rest of the country, as well as their reactions, rather than the tragedy and the victims.
“This has been billed as a flavour film about bravery in the face of hardship as well as a flavour film about courage in the face of adversity.” It’s mostly a white nationalist storey, with a concentration on white people, white beliefs, and white heroes. “There is a tremendous lack of self-awareness,” the irony declares.
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