Netflix decides to remove controversial footage of a real-life disaster from its post-apocalyptic film Bird Box. Arriving late last year on the streaming platform, the film quickly became a hit as it led to a viral challenge based on the film. The Bird Box Challenge caused some unfortunate accidents even after Netflix warned viewers about participating. While Bird Box became a huge success, a piece of footage from the movie has been causing a public outcry for the past few months, but Netflix initially didn't agree with removing the footage.
Directed by Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier, the film centers on a group of survivors who struggle to stay alive after society is overrun by unseen creatures that cause the victim to commit suicide after looking at them. While it is never confirmed, it was believed that the creatures appeared as the victim's worst fears or regrets before leading to their demise. Everyone who survives the initial outbreak learns to live without sight by blindfolding themselves to avoid looking at the creatures. Sandra Bullock stars in the post-alien invaded film as Malorie, the film's protagonist who struggles to look after two children (Boy and Girl) while trying to get them to safety. After becoming an unexpected sensation for Netflix and sparking controversy around footage of a real-life tragedy, the streaming juggernaut has removed the footage from the film.
Related: Why Bird Box 2 Shouldn't Happen
According to The Wrap, Netflix has finally removed real-life disaster footage from Bird Box. The sequence that caused concern showed a real-life train crash from 2013, which killed 47 people in Quebec, Canada. After months of public outcry, the footage has been taken out, but Netflix didn't offer a reason for why now. Netflix provided an official statement on the removal of the train crash stating, “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.”
While it took awhile for Netflix to remove the clip from Bird Box, those who were outraged by it can now enjoy the film without being reminded of the tragedy. Considering Bird Box is a more hopeful adaptation of Josh Malerman's debut novel, it is shocking that footage of a real-life tragedy was utilized in the film. However, this same footage was used by Netflix in the past in its original series Travelers, but that was removed as well. With Bird Box breaking records for the streaming platform, it's possible the decision to remove the clip was to avoid any further backlash that would hinder the film's success.
Bird Box has been a hot topic leading into 2019, so Netflix's decision to remove the clip of the train wreck likely has to do with keeping a positive image around the film and its surprise success. Despite getting a mixed reception, the film has proven to be a major asset for Netflix's original film library. However, since Bird Box wasn't the only time the train crash clip was included in a Netflix project, it wouldn't be surprising if the streaming platform tried to use more disaster footage in the future.
Source: The Wrap