Canada slams Netflix for using rail disaster footage in Bird Box
Canada is stepping up its protest of Netflix.
The country’s parliament passed a motion against the streaming service Wednesday for using footage of an actual 2013 rail disaster in its post-apocalyptic thriller Bird Box, according to the Associated Press.
The Canadian government wants Netflix to compensate the people of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, where a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in 2013, killing 47 people. Footage from the incident was used early in the film to illustrate worldwide havoc caused by the story’s fictional eye-demons.
Parliament demanded Netflix remove all images of the tragedy as well. “We know people are going to go and watch this film, and again these real images will be used,” said legislator Pierre Nantel. “For people in Lac-Megantic, they saw images of their own downtown burning, and could imagine their own family members in it.”
The footage was purchased from a stock footage vendor. Netflix has apologized but has declined to remove the images.
Using news footage of civil unrest, violence, and tragedy is very common in films, even when it’s used somewhat deceptively — standing in for a fictional event — as in the case of Bird Box. If a film features a tornado, for example, a filmmaker might employ stock footage of real tornados and their devastation.
Netflix has claimed that 80 million accounts worldwide have watched the Sandra Bullock film since it was released in December, making it the service’s most successful movie launch ever.