Saturday 3 December 2016

Family of reporter who died by suicide during live news broadcast in 1974 condemn film about her death

Family brand 'Christine' film 'cynical exploitation of her death

Independent.ie newsdesk and agencies

Published 21/02/2016 | 14:44

Rebecca Hall in Christine, a film about the death of reporter Christine Chubbuck
Rebecca Hall in Christine, a film about the death of reporter Christine Chubbuck

The family of Christine Chubbuck, the U.S. news reporter who died by suicide during a live news broadcast in 1974, have condemned a new film starring Rebecca Hall about her death.

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Greg Chubbuck told Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper that the makers of the film Christine are "exploiting" his sister's death.

The Florida journalist made headlines across the world when she did the unthinkable while reading the morning news on Sarasota’s Channel 40 Suncoast Digest morning show on 15 July 1974.

Christine told viewers just eight minutes into the programme, "In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, you are going to see another first - attempted suicide."

Rebecca Hall in Christine, a film about the death of reporter Christine Chubbuck
Rebecca Hall in Christine, a film about the death of reporter Christine Chubbuck

She then produced a gun from underneath her desk, and shot herself behind the ear. Christine died 15 hours later in hospital.

Now Christine, which also stars Michael C. Hall, details her death, and the late journalist's brother Greg described the new movie as "‘despicable and deplorable".

"I have not seen the movie and nor do I intend to," he told the newspaper on Sunday. "To me, this is nothing more than a cynical exploitation of my sister’s death.

"How can someone like Rebecca Hall cash in on a family tragedy, and in particular a suicide that was so public and upsetting? It’s been more than 40 years since my sister killed herself but the pain we feel is still raw.

"It upsets me the filmmakers never reached out to me to find out what she was really like. There was another side to Chrissie which was loving and funny."

British actress Rebecca revealed in recent interviews that her role as the 29-year-old news reporter was one of the most upsetting she's ever had.

"Well, your body, when you’re acting anything, your brain knows that you’re doing something, but your body doesn’t," she explained to uproxx.com. "When you’re holding a gun up to your head, your body thinks you’re holding a gun up to your head. Your adrenaline function thinks that you’re holding a gun up to your head. When you have fake blood pouring out of your head, your body thinks that.

"It was all practical and I couldn’t stop shaking for like 24 hours after. It was very, very disturbing. Nothing compared to what some people go through in real life..."

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