“Chernobyl” Creator Tells Influencers To Stop Taking Selfies At Disaster Site


By John Vibes / Truth Theory

HBO’s hit miniseries Chernobyl has renewed interest in the disaster zone, and sparked a tourism boom in the once-abandoned region. The television show, starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård and Emily Watson, and directed by Johan Renck, is a telling of the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Nearly a decade ago, Ukrainian officials declared that it would be safe to open the area up for tourism. However, the tours are heavily restricted and visitors are warned to not stay in the radiated zone for too long. Even at the present levels, enough exposure to the radiation in the area can cause sickness and increase the risk of certain cancers.

Yet, influencers and thrill seekers are still flocking to the area to get photos in the radioactive ruins of the power plant and adjoining town. In some of the photos, influencers even took their own Geiger counters so they could show their followers how radioactive the area actually is.










This week, the show’s creator and writer Craig Mazin made a post on Twitter, urging fans of the show to be more respectful while visiting Chernobyl.

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


A similar controversy appeared in the news earlier this year, where tourists were taken to task for inappropriate photos taken at the Auschwitz Museum.

However, not everyone is offended by the growing trend. An article in The Atlantic this week suggested that taking influencer-style photos is simply how humans document their lives now. The article also goes on to deny that any of the people who have gone to these sites are actually influencers (because they don’t have enough fans.)

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Although, Julia Baessler, an Instagram user who leverages her 320,000 fans to secure sponsorships and deals with major corporations like Monster Energy, is one of the “influencers” who came under scrutiny for visiting the site.


Baessler responded to her critics by saying that she has an interest in history and science and was not drawn to Chernobyl because of the television show.

“I didn’t come to visit Chernobyl as a tourist attraction or shooting spot because of the HBO series and I’m sick of reading this. I have been visiting Chernobyl for the first time long before the series came out because I’m really interested in history and nuclear physics itself,” Baessler said.

“Because of the engineering work of my boyfriend we were able to get a special admission to go inside control room 4 which is actually not accessible for visitors. I left those stories online because they are full of information and I really want to spread them but I don’t want to be seen as an influencer going to Chernobyl because it’s trendy now. that’s not true,” she added.

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