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Netflix Issues Warning Against #BirdBoxChallenge As Viewers Start Blindfolding Themselves in Real Life

The streaming company says "Bird Box" is one of its most-watched original movies to date.

"Bird Box"

“Bird Box”

Saeed Adyani / Netflix

Netflix might be happy about subscribers turning out in huge numbers to watch “Bird Box” over the holidays, but it’s a little worried how the film is becoming an unlikely source of inspiration. The streaming giant has issued a warning on its social media pages for viewers not to hurt themselves by participating in the #BirdBoxChallenge, a viral sensation in which people post videos of themselves and/or friends performing tasks while blindfolded.

“Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE,” Netflix wrote. “We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.”

The #BirdBoxChallenge takes its inspiration from the movie’s universe, in which a group of people must band together in order to survive against monsters who make people kill themselves when they look at them. In the film’s most notable set piece, Sandra Bullock’s character travels with two young children down a river to seek refuge from the monsters. The characters are all wearing blindfolds as to not accidentally look at the monsters.

The image of Bullock rafting while blindfolded has seemingly inspired others to perform other tasks while restricting their eyesight. The Associated Press gathered up a handful of #BirdBoxChallenge videos, which range from one person applying makeup while blindfolded to another walking down subway stairs blindfolded. A video of a group of friends spending 24 hours while blindfolded has gone viral on YouTube, earning over 1.7 million views since December 30.

“Bird Box” debuted December 21 on Netflix. The movie is directed by Susanne Bier and, according to Netflix, had over 45 million accounts streaming it during its first week, the biggest launch of any Netflix original movie to date.

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