20 Mar 2023, 15:06
A survivor of the Grenfell Tower tragedy has started a petition, begging the BBC not to make a drama about the 2017 fire.
Earlier this year, the BBC announced it planned to dramatise the tragic events of 14 June, nearly six years ago.
At the time, it sparked an early backlash from people who believed the drama would be in bad taste.
But now the protestors have started a petition, demanding the BBC stop their plans.
72 people died in the tragedy in West London (Credit: Thabo Jaiyesimi/SOPA Images/Shutterstock)
Grenfell Tower drama on BBC
In February, the BBC announced it had commissioned a drama about the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
The Grenfell Tower fire led to the deaths of 72 people in West London.
The series will be written and directed by Peter Kominsky, who wrote the Channel 4 series The Undeclared War.
The channel revealed that the drama will draw on more than five years of research from public sources, the official inquiry hearings and extensive interviews.
It will give a “comprehensive account of the events leading up to, during and after the devastating fire which took place on June 14 2017”.
The three-part series will “shine a light on the human stories of those caught up in the tragedy”.
It will also explore “the profound impact of Grenfell on survivors, the families and loved ones of those whose lives were lost”.
The drama also hopes to show “what we can learn to ensure that the events at Grenfell can never happen again elsewhere”.
— Siobhan Power (@BatgirlPower33) March 20, 2023
BBC drama sparks early backlash
At the time of the announcement, the very idea of the drama about the Grenfell Tower tragedy sparked a furious backlash from people.
Critics called it “distasteful”, and alleged the BBC was “making money out of a tragedy”.
However, writer and director Peter Kosminsky said: “Occasionally, events occur in our national story which touch us all.
“The fire at Grenfell Tower is such an event.
“We remember what we were doing when we heard about it.
“Yet, we may be left with a less than a clear sense of exactly what happened, what went wrong.
“In our drama, we attempt to pick our way through hours of public testimony, as well as original interviews conducted by our team, to reach the heart of this catastrophe.
“How such a thing can have happened. How we can avoid it ever happening again.”
Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, added: “Grenfell was a tragedy that touched the entire nation.
“Grenfell will utilise drama’s unique ability to sensitively and respectfully show the human side of what happened.
“And also offer a response to some of the many unanswered questions that remain.”
Should the BBC make a drama about the Grenfell Tower tragedy so soon? (Credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA/S utterstock)
Petition against the Grenfell Tower BBC drama
Now, a survivor of the Grenfell Tower fire has launched a petition against the drama on Change.org.
And it is already accumulating hundreds of signatures.
Cecilia Corzo started the petition in mid-March.
She explains her opposition to the drama, revealing that she lives in Lancaster West Estate, the estate which housed the Grenfell Tower before it burned down in flames.
She says: “We don’t want the BBC to make a drama about the Grenfell fire tragedy.
“It has been less than six years since the fire that took 72 innocent lives and left hundreds more people displaced grieving without any justice.
“Many people are still suffering from PTSD and many cannot even return to their old neighbourhood because of the trauma they experienced that night.”
She explains that “there are still survivors waiting for a permanent home”.
Most notably perhaps, Cecilia states that “the perpetrators” have “avoided all criminal consequences for the genocide their greed and neglect caused”.
The 72 victims of the Grenfell Tower fire were remembered on the fifth anniversary of the disaster (Credit: Cover Images/INSTARimages.com)
Why is there a petition?
Cecilia criticises the BBC for deciding “that they wish to recreate the brutal events for their own entertainment purposes, claiming under the guise that they will spread awareness with the permission of the residents and survivors”.
She added: “I am one of these residents of Lancaster West Estate and I have never been contacted by the BBC, nor did they respect the wishes of the survivors who *had* been contacted a few years ago and were deeply offended by the proposal of such a drama show.”
At the time of writing, the petition had more than 400 signatures after six days.
One signee stated: “I’m from the Grenfell Tower and the thought of them doing this makes me cry.”
Another said: “Tragedy is not entertainment!”
A third wrote: “It’s still too fresh in people’s minds, plus no one has claimed responsibility for this tragedy. Why should the BBC make millions from it?”
“No dramatisation could begin to portray the suffering and trauma the residents of Lancaster West and those living under the tower have endured,” wrote another. “It’s far too soon considering the 1000’s still suffering PTSD.
“Until the people feel they have justice, if ever, no TV company or production house should consider making such a program.
“The intention alone demonstrates their lack of understanding.”
The Grenfell Tower BBC drama is expected to air later in 2023 or early 2024.
Do you think it’s too soon to dramatise the tragic events of the Grenfell Tower? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.