Lyca Productions apologises after using murder victims' photos in Mafia: Chapter One
Karthick Naren's film starring Arun Vijay was removed from Amazon Prime in Canada; makers promise to blur photos of victims
The Arun Vijay-starring action film Mafia: Chapter 1 has been slammed for using photos of victims murdered by Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur. The family members of five of the eight murder victims, whose photos are visible in a scene in the film, have reportedly expressed shock over the usage even as they are mourning the loss of their loved ones.
For about 15 seconds in a scene in the recently-released film directed by Karthick Naren, the victims' photos can be seen stuck to a board in the background during a police investigation. The people in the photos are depicted as being connected to a drug kingpin.
Following this, the film's production company, Lyca Productions, has apologised in a written statement and promised to blur the photos used in the film, once the lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak ends. Noting that the photos were 'downloaded randomly from the internet', and used only for 'creative narration', the statement reads, "We wish to place on record and tender our unconditional apology to the families of the people for the inadvertent distress caused to them."
Meanwhile, Amazon Prime Video has also taken down the film from its platform in Canada. "We were concerned to learn that the movie uses pictures of the victims of the Toronto serial homicides and immediately took action," Amazon Prime Video told CBC news.
Of the victims seen in the scene, two are Sri Lankan Tamils. McArthur pleaded guilty in 2019 for killing all eight men between 2010 and 2017. One of the victims’ family members has also alleged that the makers did not take permission to use the photos in the film. "I was very, very upset and I was very, very sad," a victim’s relative in Sri Lanka reportedly said.
In the film, which hit the screens in February, Arun Vijay plays a narcotics police officer with a mission to take down a drug kingpin in Tamil Nadu.