Canada’s Parliament Files Motion Against Netflix Over ‘Bird Box’ Footage of 2013 Train Tragedy

Real-life footage from the 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster appears in a brief moment in Netflix's blockbuster streaming hit.
"Bird Box"
"Bird Box"

The Parliament of Canada has stepped in to urge Netflix to remove footage of the 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster from its blockbuster streaming hit “Bird Box.” The streaming giant was criticized earlier this month by Lac-Mégantic mayor Julie Morin for showing real-life footage of the July 2013 train accident, which left 47 people dead and is the fourth-deadliest rail accident in Canadian history. Footage of the train-wreck appears early on in “Bird Box” to show the world descending into madness following the arrival of mysterious entities.

Canadian legislator Pierre Nantel told the Associated Press, “We know people are going to go and watch this film, and again these real images will be used. For people in Lac-Megantic, they saw images of their own downtown burning, and could imagine their own family members in it.”

Canada’s Parliament has passed a motion saying Netflix should compensate the people of Lac-Megantic, Quebec. The streaming giant licensed the footage of the Lac-Mégantic train accident from stock image vendor Pond 5. Netflix has said it will not remove the footage from the movie, as it can not make changes to “finished content.” Netflix public policy director Corie Wright previously said the company “understands that many feel frustration and sadness at seeing images of this tragic event.”

Footage from the 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster also popped up in the Netflix original series “Travelers,” although Peacock Alley Entertainment president Carrie Mudd said she was working to get the footage replaced in the series. After the footage was first discovered, Lac-Mégantic mayor Morin condemned Netflix for the use of the images.

“I don’t know if this is happening all the time, but we are looking for assurances from Netflix that they are going to remove them,” Morin said. “You can be sure we are going to follow up on this, and our citizens are on our side.”

Canada’s Parliament motion represents the biggest push against Netflix following the reveal “Bird Box” used footage of the actual rail disaster. IndieWire has reached out to Netflix for further comment.

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