'Big perception problem': They are Us film sparks backlash

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Rose Byrne. Photos: Getty Images
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Rose Byrne. Photos: Getty Images
News that a film will be made about the 2019 Christchurch mosque attacks has drawn a huge backlash in New Zealand, with more than 55,000 people signing a petition to shut the production down.

The movie, They are Us, is set focus on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's response in the week following the attacks.

It is set to star Australian actress Rose Byrne who would reportedly play Ardern.

The New Zealand muslim community has come out against the film, saying the focus on the prime minister, rather than the victims, is wrong, and it is just Hollywood profiting off the community's pain.

Ardern said in a statement that plenty of stories from March 15 could be told, and she does not consider hers to be one of them.

RNZ spoke to the executive editor of entertainment magazine Variety, Steven Gaydos, about whether the film will go ahead and how it is being perceived in the United States:







Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter