Netflix’s Bird Box has been heavily criticised after it emerged that the film uses real-life footage taken from the Lac-Megantic disaster.
The Lac-Mégantic rail disaster, a traumatic train crash which occurred in a small Canadian town in 2013, resulted in 47 deaths after an unattended 74-car freight train carrying crude oil derailed. In what is the fourth deadliest train crash in Canadian history, the disaster destroyed half of the downtown area.
Now, the May of Quebec town Lac-Mégantic has hit out at Bird Box for its decision to use the footage. Speaking to Canadian Press, Mayor Julie Morin said: “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.
“You can be sure we are going to follow up on this, and our citizens are on our side,” she added.
Peacock Alley Entertainment, the production company behind the show, released a statement to explain that they had acquired the footage from stock footage seller ‘Pond 5’ and “weren’t aware of its specific source.” Peacock Alley Entertainment also apologised for the situation and confirmed their plans to replace the footage used in the film.
The clip in question appears as part of an early scene in the film, when Sandra Bullock’s character is flicking through TV channels portraying different scenes from the apocalypse.
Now, in a statement issued to BBC, Pond 5 explain their regret at the footage being “taken out of context and used in entertainment programming” before apologising “to anyone who was offended, especially the victims and their families”.