It's every parent's nightmare: a child, violently attacked in the woods. Now imagine it had actually happened to your child... and a movie company was trying to profit off her story.
In 2014, two of then-12-year-old Payton Leutner's classmates set upon her in a wooded suburban park. Convinced that an online horror character named Slender Man would kill their families otherwise, one girl repeatedly stabbed Payton as the other cheered her on.
Now -- capitalizing on a tragedy that nearly cost one girl her life and irrevocably changed the lives of two more -- Sony Pictures is slated to release its first Slender Man movie.
Bill Weir, father of one of Payton's attackers, is appalled:
"It's absurd they want to make a movie like this. It's popularizing a tragedy is what it's doing. I'm not surprised but in my opinion it's extremely distasteful. All we're doing is extending the pain all three of these families have gone through."
This is crass commercialism at its worst. It's a naked cash grab built on the exploitation of a deeply traumatic event and the people who lived it.
We need to convince the head of Sony Pictures Entertainment to do the right thing and cancel the film's scheduled May release. But we are going to need plenty of signatures if we are going to convince Sony to put basic human decency above their bottom line.
The families affected by this tragedy need our voices. Please add your name now.