Netflix: Bird Box will look slightly different next time you watch it


The next time you watch Bird Box on Netflix you might notice one tiny difference as the streaming giant has elected to cut disaster footage after backlash.

Last year, Netflix’s mega hit, Bird Box starring Sandra Bullock, was the center of some controversy involving usage of real-life disaster footage in the film. The footage came from the 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster in Quebec, Canada, an incident where more than 40 people were killed. It is briefly shown playing on a television screen in the background and meant to indicate the chaotic atmosphere derived from the mysterious unseen creatures in the movie.

Canadian politicians and the family of the tragedy’s victims publicly asked for Netflix to edit out the footage. Initially, Netflix declined. The footage was purchased legally through a stock footage vendor.

More from 1428 Elm

However, they have recently changed their tune and decided to edit out the footage according to Canadian news source, InfoTel. A spokesperson had this to say about the decision:

"“Netflix and the filmmakers of ‘Bird Box’ have decided to replace the clip,” a spokesman for the streaming company said in an email to The Canadian Press. “We’re sorry for any pain caused to the Lac-Megantic community.”"

Personally, I think the issue needs to be taken to the vendor Netflix purchased the footage from.

Ultimately, Netflix made the right choice in removing the footage, I think there need to be stricter regulations about using real tragedies to enhance fictional storytelling, but there is nothing to stop this from happening again in the future if legal action isn’t taken against the source of the video.

Then again, in terms of disaster stock footage, I’m not sure what the proper etiquette is. Using footage from accidents where no one died? Only using footage from destruction that occurred more than ten years ago? It’s murky territory at best.

Hopefully in the future, Netflix will show more discretion.

If you haven’t watched Bird Box yet, I highly recommend it. Along with Sandra Bullock, the film also stars John Malkovich, Trevante Rhodes, and Sarah Paulson. It has been favorably compared to A Quiet Place, with a focus being on the loss of vision instead of hearing.

When a strange unseen force begins making people commit suicide, often violently, the remaining survivors must grapple with a world where they cannot see for fear of dying.

Next. Bird Box challenge could land you on a meme. dark

Love Bird Box? You should try reading the novel the film is based on! It’s a post-apocalyptic book, published in 2014, written by Josh Malerman. It’s a little different from the film but definitely worth reading for any fans.

Bird Box is currently streaming on Netflix.