The mum of murdered toddler James Bulger has branded a short film about her son’s death as "awful" – and has put pressure on it to be banned from Oscar nominations.
More than 82,000 people have signed the petition to have Detainment taken off the Oscar short list, after it emerged its director Vincent Lambe did not contact the family before he made the dramatisation.
With hours left before nominations close, James’ furious mum Denise Fergus has called on the Academy Awards to ditch it.
Denise, who has written a book about her trauma, said: "I cannot thanks everyone enough for all their support about getting the Oscars to revoke the short list nomination.
"I am overwhelmed by the public’s support regarding this awful short film that has been made about my sons murder."
She added: "Not only that but to not even tell the family their intention to do this film has made me so deeply upset."
The Oscar nominations will be revealed on January 22, with voting then commencing on February 12 for the 91st annual Academy Awards on February 24.
The woman behind the petition, Lisa Young, said she set up the petition after Denise’s impassioned plea on Loose Women recently.
Detainment dramatises police interviews with James’ killers Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.
Speaking previously, Denise said: "I’m asking people to boycott it, I don’t think it should have been made in the first place, especially without James’ family knowing."
Detainment has already been condemned for offering an inaccurate portrayal of the investigation to find James.
Former detective superintendent Albert Kirby, who led the hunt for the child, said: "I think it lacks any form of taste or decency and it has been made without any consideration of the effect on Denise, the family and also any number of other people who were involved in the sensitive issues of the investigation.
"I think, also, it does not give a true depiction of Mrs Venables."
But, defending his decision not to chat to the family, Mr Lambe told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: "I did think about it, I thought about it a lot [contacting the Bulger family]. Then it probably wouldn’t have been made.
"I have enormous sympathy for the Bulger family."
James, two, was tortured and killed by Venables and Thompson in February 1993.
The toddler was snatched from the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle, Merseyside, by the then 10-year-old killers.
The vile duo became the country’s youngest murderers in 250 years.
To sign the petition to have the film taken off the Oscars short list, visit Change.org
The murder of James Bulger
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