When making a Film, filmmakers often purchase stock footage to make various scenes look more authentic, but at a cheaper price. This was the case in the popular Netflix film “Bird Box,” starring Sandra Bullock.

When trying to show an apocalyptic scene in the film, following the story of a monstrous entity making people kill themselves, Netflix unknowingly used footage from the Lac-Megantic rail tragedy in Canada. In the clip, Bullock can be seen watching a news report on TV, which included the footage

Real disaster footage in entertainment

The disaster in question caused 47 people to lose their lives in 2013 after a train derailed in the Quebec town, leading to many business and homes being destroyed.

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The train was carrying crude oil at the time, causing an explosion and much smoke, which made the footage perfect for the apocalyptic nature of the film. Canadians are outraged over its inclusion in the film.

Netflix will not remove controversial footage

As reported by Mashable, while Netflix is now aware of the fact that it used stock footage taken from the Lac-Megantic disaster, it says it will not be removing the scene, despite the controversy.

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It turns out the streaming platform is not alone in using scenes from the disaster. The BBC reports that similar footage was used in the science fiction show “Travelers.” A scene in the series’ third season showed the blazing destruction in downtown Lac-Megantic to represent fictional media coverage of a London nuclear attack.

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Film

Peacock Alley Entertainment, the company producing “Travelers,” made a statement to say they had acquired the footage from Pond 5, a stock footage vendor. They were unaware of the original source of the footage.

‘Travelers’ to remove the disaster footage

The producers of “Travelers” apologised for the use of the footage and said they will replace that clip in the series.

For their part, Pond 5 made a statement to the BBC to say it “deeply regretted” that the disaster footage had been “taken out of context” and then used in entertainment films and series. Pond 5 went on to apologise to any parties who had been offended by the footage, including the victims of the disaster and their families.

According to the collection clips on Pond 5’s website, the footage is used in many TV and documentary shows produced by companies like Netflix, Disney, the BBC and the Discovery Channel.

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While their footage library contains both media and archival footage and fictional scenes, including military conflicts, natural disasters and historical tragedies, some might include “sensitive events.” However, they stated that something like the current controversy rarely happens.

The company will now contact its customers who have bought similar clips to inform them about the “sensitive nature” of that particular footage. They have also made a note next to the offending clip on their website.

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