The harrowing footage of masked terrorists from the Somali-based terror group Al-Shabaab shooting indiscriminately at innocent shoppers inside one of Kenya’s most popular shopping malls, Westgate Mall, was used in the latest episode of Fox’s spy thriller TV series “24: Legacy.”
Kenyans took issue with the TV show late last week as it used the footage to describe a 2011 terrorist attack in Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city, where 200 people died, including 18 Americans.
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Kenyans took to social media to castigate Fox Studios for misusing the footage of a tragic terror attack, saying it was insulting to Kenyans and relatives of those who died in the incident.
The video shows gunmen stalking and shooting to death innocent civilians as panicked crowds scamper for safety and Mothers try to shield their children from the bullets.
The attack happened in 2013 in what was a retaliatory attack by Somali militants who are opposed to Kenya’s mission to restore peace in Somalia.
In response, Icharia Ian wrote on Facebook:
Belittling would be an understatement for what you just did to the affected and effected Kenyan lives, lost lives. Try and put yourselves in my shoes. Can you imagine the 9/11 footage, be it fictional or sci-fi movie, being referred to as a Toronto, Canada, attack by ‘Bin-Khaziga [Bin-Khalifa]’??”
Other Kenyans used the hashtag #SomeoneTellFox to express their displeasure with the way the footage was used:
— Civil Gadfly (@CivilGadfly) February 24, 2017
Soon after, FOX Executive Producers Evan Katz and Manny Coto offered the following apology:
In episode 4 of “24: Legacy,” we regretfully included news footage of an attack in Nairobi. It will be removed from all future broadcasts and versions of the show.
We apologize for any pain caused to the victims and their families and are deeply sorry.
It is not the first time that a prominent foreign news agency has rubbed Kenyans the wrong way. In July 2015, Tony Maddox, CNN’s executive vice president and managing director, was forced to fly to Nairobi to apologize to Kenyans for the company’s reference to Kenya as a “hotbed of terror.”
The multinational news network made the controversial comment during the visit of the former U.S. President Barack Obama to Kenya. CNN suggested that Mr. Obama was likely to be attacked by the Somali-based militants during the historic visit to his father’s homeland.
This comment angered many Kenyans who, for several days, trolled CNN on Twitter using the hashtag #SomeoneTellCNN.
Meeting the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, Mr. Maddox said the report wasn’t a “deliberate attempt to portray Kenya negatively,” adding that CNN regretted having done so.