Members of a rail union will picket the premiere of a film that is about a Tube driver who encourages people to commit suicide under his train so that he can receive a pay-off.
Three And Out, a comedy starring Mackenzie Crook, who rose to fame as Gareth in BBC's The Office, sees the driver of a London Underground train (Crook) seek out suicidal Tube users when he hears that three fatalities in a month results in job loss with compensation.
Bizarrely, permission to advertise the film at Tube stations was granted, despite Transport for London's policy of strictly monitoring posters. Monday's premiere will be attended by Crook and his co-star Imelda Staunton.
Yesterday Aslef, the union that represents train and Tube drivers, made it clear it would picket the red-carpet event at the Leicester Square Odeon, to point out that train drivers find fatalities on the Tube "distressing" and "never funny".
"These incidents can mean life-changing traumas for drivers," said Keith Norman, Aslef's general secretary. He insisted he did not want the union to be seen as "a killjoy organisation – because we're not", but said "there are issues which we shouldn't ignore and this is one of them".
The union will hand out leaflets at the premiere, saying: "We hope you enjoy the movie tonight, but please remember that for train drivers like ourselves, deaths on the railway are never funny."
Mr Norman added: "I want the public to be aware of how distressing it can be for a driver to discover a body under the wheels of his or her train."
A spokesman for the film said: "Difficult issues portrayed in the film have been handled sensitively. Although Three And Out was not designed to generate debate about the serious issues it raises, the makers feel that if it makes people think as well as laugh and cry, they have hopefully made a film that audiences have engaged with and enjoyed." Aslef said its stance on the film has received support from the public.
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