Netflix faced severe scrutiny in January after refusing to remove real-life disaster footage from Bird Box despite outcry from Canadian citizens and government officials. The film used footage of the 2013 Lac-Mégantic train disaster, an explosion responsible for 47 deaths in Quebec, Canada.
Now, the popular streaming service is backtracking on its desire to keep the film intact.
“Netflix and the filmmakers of Bird Box have decided to replace the clip,” Netflix says in a statement with TheWrap. “We’re sorry for any pain caused to the Lac-Mégantic community.”
Canadian Parliament previously passed a motion to condemn Bird Box, not only protesting the film but demanding the company compensate citizens who were affected by the tragedy.
Quebec minister of culture and communications, Nathalie Roy, acknowledged the change. Roy recognized the combined effort that lead to Netflix’s decision in a tweet today.
“This gesture was expected out of respect for the victims of this horrible tragedy, their loved ones and the entire Lac-Mégantic community,” the tweet reads. “This result shows that by being united and pooling our efforts, everything is possible.”
Ce geste était attendu par respect pour les victimes de cet horrible drame, leurs proches et toute la communauté de #LacMégantic. Ce résultat démontre qu’en étant solidaires et en mettant nos efforts en commun, tout est possible. https://t.co/fxLUzhPkpv#MCC #PolQc #AssNat
— Nathalie Roy (@NathalieRoyCAQ) March 14, 2019
Lac-Mégantic Mayor Julie Morin tells The Canadian Press despite the wait, she’s happy the issue was resolved.
“Yes, there was a delay, but in the end, the most important thing is that people came to the conclusion that the situation was significant enough to settle,” Morin says.
The original Bird Box discovery
The disaster occurred in the summer of 2013 when a train carrying 74 cars of oil derailed near Lac-Mégantic’s town center. Several of the train’s cars exploded during the derailment, causing a fired that burned for hours after the accident.
Lac-Mégantic Mayor Julie Morin addressed the footage’s use after discovering it was in Bird Box, requesting it be removed.
“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 tells Canadian Press. “You can be sure we are going to follow up on this, and our citizens are on our side.”
“We find that it’s really a lack of respect, to use these images as fiction and entertainment,” she added. “It’s hard enough for our citizens to see these images when they are used normally and respectfully on the news. Just imagine, to have them used as fiction, as if they were invented.”
Bird Box is available on Netflix now, and you can watch the trailer below.