Grenfell Tower: Thousands sign petition calling for BBC to axe drama on Grenfell Tower disaster

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Thousands of people have called on the BBC to cancel a drama based on the Grenfell Tower disaster.

A petition started on Change.org and signed by more than 2,700 people is calling for a BBC drama on the Grenfell Tower disaster to be halted.The petition calls for the series not to go ahead as it is only six years since the incident took place. It is also asking for consideration for those involved.

The Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017 was one of the UK’s worst modern disasters, taking the lives of 72 people. The incident saw fire break out in a kitchen on the fourth floor of a high rise flat block in North Kensington, West London. The fire quickly spread and took over the entire building.

The petition reads: “It has been less than 6 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. There are still survivors waiting for a permanent home. Survivors who will never hold their loved ones again. Whole families who now only exist in memory.

“In spite of all of this, the BBC has decided 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.”

The creator of the petition, who claims to be a resident of Lancaster West Estate, where the fire took place, is calling on the BBC to air a documentary about the event, rather than a drama. The petition adds: “If the BBC had wanted to do the community justice they would air instead a documentary about the fire, as there have been many that have been made with the right intentions that shine a light on the government’s austerity and carelessness towards people in social housing.”

The covered structure of Grenfell Tower in London Photo by Leon Neal/Getty ImagesThe covered structure of Grenfell Tower in London Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images
The covered structure of Grenfell Tower in London Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

The BBC drama, titled Grenfell, will piece together the stories of survivors, bereaved family members and firefighters, using interviews and evidence from the public inquiry. The BBC said the series would provide "a comprehensive account of the events leading up to, during, and after the devastating fire".

A BBC spokesperson said: “We are extremely mindful of the impact that a project of this nature can have on those whose lives have been personally affected, and this programme will be made with the utmost sensitivity and respect. It will draw on over five years of research to ask not only how this terrible tragedy was able to occur, but also what we can learn to ensure that the events at Grenfell can never happen again elsewhere.”

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