A day after learning that a science fiction show on Netflix used actual footage of the Lac-Megantic rail disaster, the mayor of the Quebec town believes the smash hit "Bird Box" used images of the tragedy as well.
Lac-Megantic Mayor Julie Morin wants the streaming juggernaut to take a look at its TV and Movie catalog to make sure no other production is using images of the tragedy as entertainment.
“I don’t know if this is happening all the time, but we are looking for assurances from Netflix that… they are going to remove them,” said Morin. “You can be sure we are going to follow up on this, and our citizens are on our side.”
The first instance of the tragedy was used in the TV show "Travellers." In the science fiction series, a nuclear device exploded on the streets of London, but rather than seeing flames through the U.K.'s capital, fire towered over the small town instead. At the end of the street, a black oil tanker burned to the ground.
The brief images on Netflix were taken from real-life footage of one of the deadliest disasters in Canadian history, when a train carrying crude oil derailed in Lac-Megantic and exploded, killing 47 people in 2013.
"Travellers" was shot in Vancouver and produced by Peacock Alley Entertainment Inc., originally in association with Netflix and Showcase. Netflix picked up the show as the exclusive distributor for its third season.
A spokesman for Netflix did not want to be interviewed but said the company has contacted Peacock Alley Entertainment and confirmed the images would be removed. When asked by email to confirm "Bird Box" also used real-life footage, the company said it needed time to look into it.
Morin explained she first heard of the images used on “Travellers” Monday.
“We find that it’s really a lack of respect, to use these images as fiction and entertainment,” she said. “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.”
On Tuesday, a Lac-Megantic citizen posted images on social media of the movie “Bird Box,” wherein the early moments of the movie, a television newscast used the images for a few seconds to illustrate a town being under attack.
"We see the images (of Lac-Megantic) clearly.”
The Canadian Press viewed the footage in "Bird Box," which is identical to the amateur video shot immediately after the derailment.
With Files from the Canadian Press.