Warner Bros. movie executives are being accused of reneging on a promise to provide prosthetic limbs to orphaned African amputees so the studio’s “Blood Diamond” movie could get extra publicity, a New York City tabloid is reporting.
According to a report in the New York Post, while filming the movie, producers brought in 27 teenage and child amputees from surrounding hospitals to appear as extras.
In addition to paying the children day rates for their work, the producers reportedly promised to fit all of them with prosthetic limbs after shooting wrapped in June, according to the “Page Six” report. But the children—all victims of war—are still waiting.
The Post’s story includes a personal report from one of the extras as told by an unidentified South African newspaper. It reads:
“Young Nkululo Mnisi – whose arms and legs were cut off by machete-wielding rebels – used to be taunted by cruel classmates as “baboon” because of the way he ran on his stumps and crutches. Mnisi told a South African newspaper that the dream that kept him going was the promise of getting artificial limbs so he’d be able to play soccer like a normal child.
“But months after filming ended, Mnisi and his fellow amputees were still waiting. When they asked Warner Bros. about the promised prosthetics, they were allegedly told, ‘You will have to wait for December, when the movie comes out, so we can get some publicity out of it.’ “
A local African charity called Eastern Cape, when hearing of the denied promise, outfitted the children with limbs paid for by the organization, the Post reports. Eastern Cape has said that if Warner Bros. does finally come through with the money, it will go to 27 other deserving amputees.
A Warner Bros. representative told Page Six, “We’re working on it.”