Netflix apologizes to Lac-Megantic for using rail disaster footage in 'Bird Box'
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac-MÃƒÂ©gantic, Que., Saturday, July 6, 2013. A day after learning that a science-fiction show on Netflix used actual footage of the Lac-Megantic rail disaster in an episode, the mayor of the Quebec town said she believes images of the tragedy were used in a second Netflix production, "Bird Box." THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, January 22, 2019 1:10PM EST
MONTREAL -- Netflix is apologizing to the people of Lac-Megantic after actual footage of the 2013 rail disaster that devastated the town was used in dramas on the streaming service.
The company says it had not been aware of the source of the footage used briefly in the hit movie "Bird Box" and the series "Travelers." The images show the explosion that killed 47 people when an oil-laden train derailed in the middle of downtown.
In a letter dated Monday to Quebec Culture Minister Nathalie Roy, the streaming giant says it regrets causing pain to the community of Lac-Megantic.
The letter signed by Corie Wright, Netflix Inc. director of public policy, promises to avoid future use of it and similar footage.
Roy wrote to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings last Friday asking that the footage be removed from the dramatic productions and used only in documentaries.
Netflix has refused to remove the footage from "Bird Box," despite the appeal from Roy and Lac-Megantic's mayor. The producers of "Travelers" have said they are working replace the Lac-Megantic images in their show.