The mother of murdered two-year-old, James Bulger, said she is “disgusted” that a film about the boys who brutally killed her son has been nominated for an Oscar.
The short film, Detainment, recreates moments of the 1993 tragedy of the toddler’s killing, based on transcripts of police interviews with the convicted murderers, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson — who were 10 years old at the time.
The two boys lured James away from his mother at a shopping centre in Liverpool, U.K., on Feb. 12, and then tortured the toddler to death. His mutilated body was found on a railway two days after.
A judge convicted the two of abduction and murder, making them the youngest killers in Britain’s history in nearly 250 years.
Thompson and Venables were released from prison under various conditions in 2001 and given new identities.
Despite opposition from James’ family, Detainment earned an Oscar nomination on Tuesday for ‘Best Live Action Short Film.’
James’ mother, Denise Fergus, took to Twitter on Tuesday saying, “she cannot express how disgusted and upset” she was about the nomination, adding she was never consulted about the movie.
The film’s director, Vincent Lambe, apologized on Jan. 6 for not making Fergus aware of the film and “for any upset the film may have caused.”
He also appeared on Good Morning Britain saying he did not contact James’ parents for permission before releasing the film.
According to the BBC, Lambe previously said, “I wouldn’t expect them to be comfortable with a film which humanizes the boys but I do hope they understand the reason it was made, and it certainly wasn’t to bring any more grief to them.”
“The reason the film was made was to try and offer more of an understanding as to how these two 10-year-old boys could have committed such a horrific crime because I think if we don’t understand the cause of it, it’s likely that something similar will happen again in the future.”
Two weeks ago, an online petition popped up calling on Detainment to stop being shown in theatres as well as be taken off the Oscars shortlist. As of Wednesday, it has gained more than 98,000 signatures.
In an interview with Mirror earlier this month, James’s father, Ralph Bulger, criticized the film, calling it “offensive.”
“It has been 26 years since my son was taken and murdered, and so I have seen many documentaries and news stories about him,” he said. “But I have never been so cut up and offended by something that shows so little compassion to James and his family.
He told the Mirror that he was not contacted about the film and it will be “horrific” if the movie wins an Oscar or any awards.