Lac-Megantic footage in 'Bird Box' prompts scolding from Quebec minister

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Published Jan. 19, 2019 2:37 p.m. ET
Updated Jan. 19, 2019 5:30 p.m. ET
A massive fire sparked by the derailment of a train carrying crude oil is still burning in the eastern Quebec town of Lac-Megantic Saturday, July 6, 2013.

MONTREAL -- Quebec's culture minister has penned a letter to Netflix's CEO to express the government's outrage over the streaming service's decision to include footage from the Lac-Megantic rail disaster in its movie "Bird Box."

In a letter to Reed Hastings dated yesterday, Nathalie Roy questioned how Netflix could have decided it was appropriate to use images of the rail explosion that killed 47 people in the context of entertainment.

Roy said she believed the footage should be removed and should only be used for documentary purposes, and suggested the film and TV industry should explore implementing a code of ethics that would prevent similar problems from arising in the future.

At least two dramas currently on Netflix's Canadian platform, including the hit "Bird Box," briefly use stock footage of the 2013 tragedy.

Netflix has thus far refused to remove the footage from its hit movie, despite an appeal from Lac-Megantic's mayor.

But Mayor Julie Morin said a Netflix executive assured her the streaming company would ensure the images wouldn't appear in any future productions.

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