IMDb | Netflix

Netflix Removes Footage Of Real-Life Disaster From 'Bird Box' After Backlash

Lynne Versluys 17 Mar 2019

Netflix decided to remove controversial real-life accident footage from​ their film Bird Box.

A Massive Netflix Original

Giphy | NETFLIX

Netflix has had their fair share of massive movie hits (starts up To All The Boys I've Loved Before for the fifth time), but the hype around Sandra Bullock's Bird Box was next level.

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'Bird Box' Mania

Giphy | NETFLIX

According to reports, 45 million Netflix accounts streamed at least part of the film in its first week on the service.

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Inspiring A Lot Of Memes

Not only was everyone obsessively watching the horror film, but they were obsessively talking about it as well. The memes that Bird Box inspired may have been better than the film itself.

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Seriously, So Many Memes

Twitter came out in full force to make jokes about the film​ because honestly, memes are better than nightmares.

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The 'Bird Box' Challenge

The film also inspired the Bird Box Challenge, which involved people attempting to do things while blindfolded. Shockingly, this did not go well. Sandra Bullock really is better than all of us at everything.

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Real Damage

However, Netflix was forced to make a statement after people took it way too far, like one Utah teenager who got in a car accident after attempting the challenge while driving.

Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE. We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.

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More Controversy

Netflix

Netflix also faced controversy when people realized that the film featured real-life disaster footage from the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster. Back in 2013, a shale oil transport train derailed in Canada and exploded, leaving 47 people dead.

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Removing The Footage

Netflix

Netflix purchased the footage from a stock footage vendor, and there was an immediate outcry, particularly from Canadian politicians, to remove it from the film.

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Initial Resistance

Netflix

At the time, Netflix declined to remove the footage despite accusations that its inclusion was insensitive.

The Canadian show Travelers used the same footage, but removed it immediately after the outcry, apologizing "to anyone who was offended, especially the victims and their families."

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Doing The Right Thing

Netflix

Netflix eventually came around, removing the footage and releasing a brief statement to EW:

"Netflix and the filmmakers of Bird Box have decided to replace the clip. We’re sorry for any pain caused to the Lac-Mégantic community."

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