Producer of film on Christchurch terrorist attacks resigns amid intense backlash

Aussie actress Rose Byrne (right) has signed up to portray NZ prime minister Jacinda Ardern (left) in an upcoming film. Photos: AP and Handout

The producer of They Are Us, a film about the attacks on two mosques by a white supremacist gunman on March 15, 2019 in New Zealand, has resigned.

This comes as a growing number of people have criticised the poorly timed project as it focuses on the wrong subject.

Philippa Campbell said in a statement: “I’ve listened to the concerns raised over recent days and I have heard the strength of people’s views. I now agree that the events of March 15, 2019 are too raw for film at this time and do not wish to be involved with a project that is causing such distress."

Last week, trade publication Hollywood Reporter reported that a movie focusing on New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern's response to the tragedy is in the works with Australian actress Rose Byrne playing the role of the PM.

Hollywood Reporter described the film as an “inspirational story about the young leader’s response to the tragic events”.

Since the announcement of the project, there have been an intense backlash with many saying that it sidelined the victims.

On Monday (June 14), Ardern said that the film's focus should be on the Muslim community.

"I agree that there are stories that at some point should be told from March 15. But they are the stories from our Muslim community so they need to be at the centre of that. I don't consider mine to be one of the stories that needs to be told," Ardern, 40, said.

The movie is to be written and directed by Andrew Niccol according to Hollywood Reporter.

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