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Canada’s Parliament passed a motion Wednesday saying Netflix should compensate the people of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, for using footage of the 2013 rail disaster in their post-apocalyptic survival film, Bird Box.
The footage involved the disaster that occurred when an unattended train carrying crude oil rolled down an incline, went off the tracks and exploded into a massive ball of fire, killing 47 people in the Quebec town.
The motion is non-binding but is a stern rebuke from Canada’s Parliament for the use of footage from the rail explosion in Bird Box, as well as in the series Travelers.
Members of Parliament voted to demand that Netflix remove all images of the Lac-Megantic tragedy. Netflix has apologized but has refused to remove the images. Netflix licensed the footage from the stock image vendor Pond5.
Pierre Nantel, a legislator who introduced the motion this week, said he cannot accept Netflix’s refusal to remove the footage.
“We know people are going to go and watch this film, and, again, these real images will be used,” he said. “For people in Lac-Megantic, they saw images of their own downtown burning, and could imagine their own family members in it.”
Netflix refused to comment Wednesday, pointing only to a letter the company sent last week to Quebec’s culture minister in response to her concerns. In it, Netflix public policy director Corie Wright said the company “understands that many feel frustration and sadness at seeing images of this tragic event,” but it cannot make changes to “finished content.”
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