UPDATED 06/12/19 1:50 p.m. ET: Chernobyl showrunner Craig Mazin has spoken out against the wave of selfies at the disaster site following the success of his series.
“It’s wonderful that #ChernobylHBO has inspired a wave of tourism to the Zone of Exclusion,” he tweeted. “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.”
See the original story below.
Chernobyl photo shoots are now a thing.
In the weeks since HBO premiered its drama miniseries about the nuclear disaster, the site has experienced a significant rise in tourism. One Ukranian agency told Reuters there has been a 30 percent spike in Chernobyl tours in May 2019 when compared to May 2018. There has also been a 40 percent increase in bookings for the months of June, July and August.
"Many people come here, they ask a lot of questions about the TV show, about all the events. People are getting more and more curious," tour guide Viktoria Brozhko told the publication. "During the entire visit to the Chernobyl exclusion zone, you get around two microsieverts, which is equal to the amount of radiation you’d get staying at home for 24 hours."
The influx of visitors has also resulted in a surge of Instagram photos taken at Chernobyl. And many of these posts have generated backlash for their perceived insensitivity toward the deadly 1986 nuclear disaster. Some users have shared photos in which they are seen donning souvenir gas masks, posing on abandoned swing sets, or doing high kicks in front of a Ferris wheel. One user even shared a photo of her at the site wearing nothing but lingerie.
"I can’t even comprehend what went through your brain to think this is okay," one person wrote about the latter post.
"Holy shit this is so fucking disrespectful," another added.
"It is disgusting and humiliating to those people who still work in Chernobyl or who come to visit their abandoned houses," Sergii Ivanchuk, director of SoloEast Travel, told The Washington Post. "The 20th Century is full of ‘Dark’ events and suffering, and just like Auschwitz or Hiroshima, Chernobyl is one of them."
It's wonderful that #ChernobylHBO has inspired a wave of tourism to the Zone of Exclusion. But yes, I've seen the photos going around.— Craig Mazin (@clmazin) June 11, 2019
If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed.