Netflix has no plans to cut ‘Bird Box’ scene despite outcry

18 January, 2019, 13:42 | Author: Eloise Houston
  • Via Netflix Canada

In the scene, a nuclear explosion ravages the streets of London, though the footage used to depict the explosion and its aftermath, which includes an oil tanker burned in the background, is partly taken from the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster.

Netflix is under fire for using real-life disaster footage of Canada's 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail tragedy in the Sandra Bullock-led thriller, "Bird Box".

The tragedy occurred when the brake system of a train failed, allowing the train to roll downhill into the town and derail.

An enormous number of Netflix viewers watched Bird Box, the Sandra Bullock-starring adaptation of Josh Malerman's best-selling novel about a better-unseen apocalyptic threat to humanity.

"Bird Box" became a cultural sensation after its December 21 release on Netflix.

At least two dramas now on Netflix's Canadian platform, including "Bird Box", briefly use actual footage of the 2013 derailment.

The current mayor of Lac-Mégantic, Julie Morin, is on the forefront of the outrage, telling local press, "We are looking for assurances from Netflix that they are going to remove [the footage]".

Using that same metric, though, Netflix also estimates that You and Sex Education - two extremely buzzy new series just released on the service - will have reached an estimate 40 million households in their first four weeks of release.

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A high school ethics teacher was the one to discover that the sci-fi series Travelers made use of the Lac-Megantic disaster footage.

Netflix spokespeople have declined repeated requests for comment on the controversy.

While Netflix has said the footage will stay in Bird Box, it is being removed from Travelers.

The error appears to be the fault of the production company, Peacock Alley Entertainment, and the stock footage vendor Pond 5.

It apologised, saying it did not mean to dishonour the tragic event in the town, and would be replacing the footage used in the show.

It said it will contact customers who have purchased any related clips to make them aware "of the sensitive nature of this footage".

The "Bird Box Challenge" trend has gotten people injured trying to do real-world activities while blindfolded, and now it appears the film itself is getting scrutinized in a bad way.

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