Netflix removes controversial Bird Box footage after public outcry
After sparking controversy for using footage of a real-life disaster in its film Bird Box, Netflix has said it will remove and replace the scene.
The Sandra Bullock-starring film debuted back in December, and it came under fire for including footage of the 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster, where a train carrying shale oil went off the tracks in Canada and exploded, killing 47 people. The video was purchased from a stock-footage vendor and used in Bird Box to depict a fictional disaster scene early in the film.
“Netflix and the filmmakers of Bird Box have decided to replace the clip,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement provided to EW. “We’re sorry for any pain caused to the Lac-Mégantic community.”
Netflix initially declined to remove the footage when the controversy broke back in January, despite outcry from Canadian politicians who said its use was insensitive.
The same footage was also used in Netflix’s show Travelers, but the Canadian production company behind that show already removed and replaced the video, apologizing “to anyone who was offended, especially the victims and their families.”
According to Netflix, Bird Box broke records as the streaming service’s most-watched original film, with 45 million accounts watching at least part of the film in its first seven days.
This post has been updated with a statement from Netflix.