‘As if they were invented’: Netflix slammed for using real disaster footage in dramas
Netflix is facing fire for its decision to include real life footage of a deadly Canadian rail disaster in two of its entertainment shows.
The footage was taken from a train derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec in July 2013. The train was carrying crude oil when it derailed and caused a devastating blaze which killed 47 people.
Scenes from the tragedy have since shown up in two separate Netflix offerings. The first appeared in science-fiction series Travelers, as part of a fictional news bulletin about a nuclear bomb in London.
"We find that it's really a lack of respect," Lac-Mégantic Mayor Julie Morin told the Canadian Press. "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."
Given that 47 people were instantly vaporized while celebrating in a pub during this disaster, I kind of have a problem with this footage being used for anything other than documentary/historical/news footage. #cdnpoli#lacmegantichttps://t.co/mpA4UVeukd— Take no Prisoners 2019 Andy (@UncleRee1) January 15, 2019
The show is produced by a Toronto company, Peacock Alley Entertainment, which issued an apology in the wake of the outrage and said they would replace the footage.
"We sincerely apologize and had no intention to dishonor the tragic events of 2013," president Carrie Mudd said, adding that the footage came from a stock company and they were unaware of its significance. The company is New York-based Pond 5.
Was it too much trouble for them to mock up some footage themselves?— Gio Petti (@petti_gio) January 15, 2019
Tacky. Hire a graphic designer for God's sake, Netflix.— Jo-Anne Pollock (@Pollock1953Jo) January 15, 2019
The offending footage has been used in another Netflix production, the newly-released Bird Box movie starring Sandra Bullock. The footage again appears in a news segment, this time about mass suicides, and was swiftly spotted by Canadians and passed on to Morin.
Netflix is yet to respond to the Bird Box footage, but Morin hopes they will take steps to ensure the footage isn’t used anywhere else on the streaming website.
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