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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 March 2019

Netflix to cut real-life disaster footage from 'Bird Box' after backlash

The thriller had previously used a clip taken from a deadly train crash as part of a fictional montage

'Bird Box', the 2018 thriller starring Sandra Bullock, will have a scene containing a real-life disaster removed from its final cut. AP 
'Bird Box', the 2018 thriller starring Sandra Bullock, will have a scene containing a real-life disaster removed from its final cut. AP 

Four months after the film first aired, Netflix has vowed to remove controversial scenes taken from a tragic, real-life train crash from Bird Box.

The streaming giant will cut footage that showed the 2013 Quebec disaster from the thriller, which stars Sandra Bullock and is set in a post-apocalyptic world.

The stock footage was taken from the Lac-Megantic rail disaster that occurred in the Canadian town when an unattended freight train carrying crude oil rolled down a track and derailed, killing 47 people in a resulting explosion.

The scenes were used in Bird Box to illustrate the aftermath of a world devastated by an unseen enemy, with Netflix earlier defending the use of the footage.

The streaming platform, however, made a U-turn this week, confirming to Variety that the clip will be replaced.

“We’re sorry for any pain caused to the Lac-Megantic community,” a spokesperson added.

The footage, which was used as part of a fictional TV news montage in Bird Box, was licensed from stock image vendor Pond 5. The company had previously apologised for any offence caused, saying in January that the footage had been used "out of context".

The use of the clip had been widely criticised, with Quebec's culture and communications minister, Nathalie Roy, penning an open letter to Netflix in January, urging for the footage to be removed.

"This result shows that by being united and pooling our efforts, everything is possible," Roy tweeted on Thursday, applauding the media company's decision.

The process to replace the footage worldwide will take several weeks, according to Netflix.

Updated: March 17, 2019 09:45 AM

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