Netflix Removes 'Bird Box' Footage of Real-Life Tragedy After Backlash

Several months after originally courting controversy, Netflix has made a slight change to their hit film Bird Box.

The streaming platform confirmed in a statement to The Wrap that they have removed a sequence containing footage of a real-life train crash from the film, after the project was scrutinized for exploiting the tragedy.

“Netflix and the filmmakers of Bird Box have decided to replace the clip. We’re sorry for any pain caused to the Lac-Megantic community,” Netflix said in a statement to TheWrap, adding that it would remove the footage in question. The company did not provide a reason for its decision.

The footage showed a 2013 rail disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, which resulted in 47 people losing their lives. In January, the Canadian Parliament voted unanimously to condemn the use of the footage, and asked for compensation for the town's citizens.

Netflix's new decision was celebrated by Nathalie Roy, Quebec's minister of culture and communications. In a tweet, which you can check out below, Roy said that "the move was expected by respect for the victims of this horrible tragedy, their families and the entire community of Lac-Mégantic. This result shows that by being united and pooling our efforts, everything is possible.”

While it might have taken some time for the controversial footage to be removed from the film, Bird Box has aimed to make a more hopeful adaptation of its original novel -- something also seen in the film's ending.

"The movie is slightly more positive [than the original book]," director Susanne Bier explained in a previous interview. "The movie is, in many aspects, different from the book, but it’s also very rooted in the book. The book also has a kind of positive ending and I would not have wanted to do an apocalyptic movie that didn’t have a hopeful ending. In a way, pretty much everything I’ve done has had some sort of a hopeful ending. I’m not particularly interested for the audience to leave, from the cinema or their own screen, with a kind of completely bleak point of view. That’s not really what I believe in."

"And so for me it was key and, and part of what made me interested in it, was that that if this scary, dystopian story, which actually has a hopeful undercurrent ... there is a hopefulness in trust." Bier continued. "That is a hopefulness in love. There is a hopeful note in certain values that I really appreciate it. And I thought that was hugely important."


What do you think of Bird Box removing the controversial train footage? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Bird Box is currently available to stream on Netflix.