Fury of 9/11 victim’s family after ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ makers use recording of their son’s ‘sacred’ last words from Twin Towers – without their permission

By Rachel Quigley Daily Mail

The parents of a 9/11 victim have hit out at the makers of Zero Dark Thirty for using their son’s ‘sacred’ last words to them in the movie without their permission.

Family: For Mary, left, and Frank Fetchet, second left, the movie brings back painful memories as one of the voices belongs to their son Brad, second from right, and it was his last words to them

Family: For Mary, left, and Frank Fetchet, second left, the movie brings back painful memories as one of the voices belongs to their son Brad, second from right, and it was his last words to them

The beginning of the movie – which has made more than $90 million – features actual voices of some of the 3,000 innocent civilians who perished on that fateful day as they made their last calls to loved ones or emergency services.

For Mary and Frank Fetchet, the movie brings back painful memories, as one of the voices belongs to their son Brad – his last words to them – words that are now shared with the world.

Brad worked on the 89th floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower and called his parents to tell them he was OK. It was the last time they would hear from him.

The message said: ‘Hey Mom. I’m sure you’ve heard a plane crashed into World Trade Center One. I’m obviously alive and well but obviously pretty scared.

‘Saw a guy fall out of probably the 91st story all the way down. You’re welcome to give a call. Love you.’

Mary told CBS: ‘When I arrived home I found Brad’s message on our phone, and, of course, these were his last words in my view, because we never heard from him again.

‘My first thought was, “Isn’t anything sacred any more?”.’

Frank said: ‘Losing a loved one so horribly – the ongoing anguish we’ve been going through – it’s a treasured remembrance, it’s a treasured message. It’s ours.’

Though the couple have used the recording in testimony for the September 11 commission and it has been on TV news reports, they say they never gave permission for it to be used in the Oscar-winning film. Nor were they asked for the use of this ‘treasured remembrance’.

Though the couple have used the recording in testimony for the September 11 commission and it has been on TV news reports, they say they never gave permission for it to be used in the film. I used it in situations where I wanted to convey Brad’s story,’ Mary said. ‘None of those situations were used for promotional or professional or commercial endeavors.’

TRAGIC LAST WORDS OF TWO OF 9/11 VICTIMS

Brad Fetchet: ‘Hey Mom. I’m sure you’ve heard a plane crashed into World Trade Center One. I’m obviously alive and well but obviously pretty scared.

‘Saw a guy fall out of probably the 91st story all the way down. You’re welcome to give a call. Love you.’

Betty Ann Ong: ‘The cockpit is not answering. Someone is stabbed in business class. And I think there’s mace…that we can’t breathe.

‘I don’t know. I think we’re getting hijacked.

‘Well we just left Boston we are up in the air. We’re supposed to go to L.A. and the cockpit is not answering their phone.

‘I’m in a jump seat right now, at 3R. My name is Betty Ong, I’m number three on flight 11 and the cockpit aren’t answering their phone.

‘And there’s somebody stabbed in business class and we can’t breathe in business class. Somebody’s got Mace or something. Our number one got stabbed, our purser got stabbed, um nobody knows who stabbed who and we can’t get up to business class right now ’cause nobody can breathe. Our number is stabbed right now. We can’t get to the cockpit, the door won’t open.

‘I think the guys are up there. They might have gone there – jammed the way up there, or something.

‘Nobody can call the cockpit. We can’t even get inside. Is anybody still there? We don’t know who’s up there. We can’t get into the cockpit. Somebody’s calling medical and we can’t get a doc.’

In a statement, the film distributor, Sony, and studio, Annapurna Pictures, say Zero Dark Thirty is a ‘tribute’ to the victims of September 11 and ‘before the film’s release, (they) initiated contact with a number of family members of the victims of the 9/11 attacks’.

But the couple say this wasn’t enough.

‘To say they’ve reached out to families — yeah, reached to say, “Come to the preview” after the film is already completed,’ Frank said.

Another family also hit out at the film makers after they used the voice of air-stewardess Betty Ann Ong recorded on a call just before her American Airlines flight hit the north tower of the World Trade Center.

The terrified stewardess called into her company’s operations center to tell them the plane had been hijacked.

The family of the 45-year-old Massachusetts flight attendant said they wanted a public apology from the film-makers at the Oscar’s on Sunday and a donation to a charity set up in her name, according to the New York Times.

They also want the film’s distributors Sony Pictures Entertainment to state on their website and on the film that the Ong family does not condone torture.

Betty’s brother Harry Ong told the newspaper: ‘I thought it was just outrageous, and totally poor judgment, and an abuse of the voices.’

The five-time Academy Award nominated film is based on the hunt to find Osama Bin Laden and his ultimate shooting in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2 2011.

With the tagline: ‘The story of history’s greatest manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man’ it follows the work of determined agent Maya, based on a real CIA operative who masterminded the US’s discovery of the Al Qaeda chief.

The film has faced plenty of criticism since its opening – not least through its depiction of water-boarding and other torture in the CIA’s attempt to find Bin Laden.

There were also reports today that the film has been ‘unofficially’ banned in Pakistan as the country is unhappy with its depiction.

The family reportedly wrote with their complaints to the film’s writer and producer, Mark Boal, on February 15.

Mr Boal, who won a Writer’s Guild Award for Best Original Screenplay, would only email a one line response to the newspaper.

‘As the 9/11 commission justly proclaimed, Betty Ong is without a doubt one of our national heroes,’ it read.

Sony Pictures claims both Mr Boal and the film’s director have been in close contact with victims families – many of whom have been invited to private screenings.

‘Zero Dark Thirty, is in some small way, a tribute to those forever affected by the attacks,’ it said.

The New York Times also points out Sony have already contributed to the ground zero museum and memorial.

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