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February 25th, 2013
10:53 AM ET

Oscar winner ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ used voices of 9/11 victims without consent – Brother of victim Betty Ann Ong weighs in

On September 11, 2001, San Francisco Native Betty Ann Ong was a flight attendant aboard the first plane to hit the World Trade Center in New York. Ong risked her life by alerting American Airlines that a hijacking was under way and ultimately died a hero. That message was recorded and heard in the Oscar nominated film "Zero Dark Thirty". Her family says that it was improperly used and they wanted an apology for it. This morning Ong’s brother, Harry Ong joins “Starting Point” to share his thoughts after not receiving an apology during the Academy Awards for improper use of his sister’s voice.

Ong who has never seen the film first became aware that his sister’s voice had been used after a family friend attended a prescreening of the movie back in Boston area and sent the Ong family an e-mail. He says, “right away during the first 90 seconds of that movie in a very darkened background scene, 10 or 11 voices came out. Real voices; they were not makeover voices, in which she immediately recognized Betty's voice.” After the movie Ong says the family friend went up to the film’s producers and asked whether the families of those whose voices were used were notified to which the producers responded no.

Ultimately Ong says whether or not the film’s producers want to apologize is “really up to them.” He adds however that he was hoping that the film’s multiple nominations would “give them a platform to … give an apology and …to mention the names of the victims that they had used in the film to give credit basically.” Ong says “there are credits to be given, and none of the victims really were given credit at all. And as far as I know, my family and Mr. and Mrs. Frank and Mary Thatchet of the voices of September 11th, they were also not asked for permission as well, and we both have the same feelings and concerns about this issue.”


Filed under: 9/11 • Entertainment • Movies
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