Thanks to the success of HBO's limited miniseries Chernobyl, all things related the 1986 nuclear power plant disaster has seen a surge in popularity. Not only is the series currently IMDb's top-rated show, but there have been countless discussions about both the series and the real-life disaster online, and there's even been an uptick in the number of visitors paying visit to the still-radioactive Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. And that influx of visitors doesn’t just include curious tourists looking. It includes social media influencers using the abandoned buildings and even power plant itself as backdrops for their posts.
On Twitter, user Bruno Zupan (@komacore) shared a compilation of various influencer posts he had collected from Instagram with the influencers treating the site like a photoshoot for the entertainment of their followers. While some were fairly tame and seemed generally respectful of Chernobyl and what was experienced there due to the disaster, others were more questionable, with one influencer posing as they leaned on an abandoned -- and likely radioactive -- shell of a bus while another shared a highly posed image of herself minimally clothed, a protective suit hanging off her body provocatively. An artistic shot -- just in a questionable place for it.
Further searches on Instagram reveals even more photos of various influencers posing for selfies in the shadow of the Chernobyl power plant and its New Safe Confinement sarcophagus protecting the world from the highly radioactive material within -- some even smiling and flashing peace signs. While some of the photos aren't completely recent -- there are several images from various users taken well before the HBO series' debut -- some are, and they haven't exactly gone over particularly well. Comments on some of the posts are calling the posters out for everything from concerns about radioactive exposure to being disrespectful of the site and those who suffered and died because of the disaster.
It's the call for respect for those who suffered that series creator Craig Mazin himself noted in a post to Twitter on Tuesday in response to some of the photos. Mazin asked those visiting the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone to remember the tragedy that happened there and behave accordingly.
"It's wonderful that #ChernobylHBO has inspired a wave of tourism to the Zone of Exclusion," Mazin wrote. "But yes, I've seen the photos going around. If you visit, please remember a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed."
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