CHENNAI: Director Karthik Naren's Tamil film "Mafia: Chapter 1", which released earlier in February, has come under the scanner for using photos of five of the eight men who were murdered by Canadian serial killer Bruce McArthur.
The film starring Arun Vijay, Prasanna, and Priya Bhavani Shankar features a scene that has the criminal photos pinned to the police investigation board. The scene was meant to indicate the background of the characters who have connections with a drug kingpin.
According to a report on CBS, the relatives of one of the victims said: "Why are these people putting [the families] through hell again? It's completely disrespectful."
"How irresponsible is it of someone in the Tamil community, putting out a Tamil movie, that highlighted these two individuals, plus three other people, who died in such a tragic way?".
In 2019, Bruce McArthur, a landscaper in Toronto, was charged with first-degree murder charges. He took the lives of his victims between 2010 and 2017. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The film, which was available to stream on Amazon Prime Canada, has been taken down.
"We were concerned to learn that the movie uses pictures of the victims of the Toronto serial homicides and immediately took action," Amazon Prime Video told CBC.
However, the film was still available for streaming on Amazon Prime India at the time this report went live.
A representative of the film's production house Lyca has told CBC that they will issue an unconditional apology to the families, and will surely blur the images of victims once the coronavirus lockdown in India is over. They further added that they downloaded the images randomly.