'Chernobyl' creator hits out at 'disrespectful' tourists

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
Military helicopters fly over the burning reactor in HBO's chilling Chernobyl. (HBO)

Craig Mazin, the screenwriter and creator of HBO’s Chernobyl, has responded to reports that “influencers” have been flocking to the doomed nuclear power plant in Ukraine to share inappropriate photos from the tragic location.

Some of the images, first shared on Instagram but now circulating on Twitter, show tourists flippantly posing in the exclusion zone around the plant, including one that shows a half-naked woman in an unzipped HAZMAT suit.

Mazin wrote on his own Twitter: “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.

If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed.”

Read more: How accurate is Chernobyl?

The success of the show, which recounts the events that led to the 1986 nuclear disaster in Soviet Russia and the fallout, has reportedly given tourism to the area a huge boost.

One Chernobyl tour agency reported a 40% rise in trip bookings since the series, made by HBO and Sky Atlantic, began in May.

English language tours to the site are said to cost around $100 (£78) and usually consist of a round trip from Kiev to the town of Chernobyl, a visit to the plant itself, and a walk around Pripyat which housed 50,000 people but is now empty after being evacuated in the aftermath of the explosion on 26 April, 1986.

(L-R) Stellan Skarsgard, Emily Watson, Jared Harris, creator/writer Craig Mazin, Jessie Buckley and director/executive producer Johan Renck attend the screening for "Tribeca TV : Chernobyl" during the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)

31 people were officially recorded by Soviet Russia as killed in the Chernobyl disaster, but estimates for the total number of victims range from 4,000 to 93,000.

Read more: KGB plotting Chernobyl remake

Mazin, whose previous writing credits include Scary Movie 2, The Hangover Part II, and The Huntsman: Winter's War, has confirmed there are no plans for a second season of Chernobyl.