Netflix apologizes for using Lac-Mégantic footage in Bird Box

In an open letter, written in French, Corie Wright, the entertainment company’s director of global public policy, said steps are being taken to make sure this doesn’t happen again, but existing content can’t be changed.

But the company won't remove images of burning Quebec town

A still from the Netflix film Bird Box, which uses footage from the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster. Netflix is apologizing for using the footage but says it can't be removed. (Netflix/CBC Montreal)

Netflix is apologizing for using images of the Lac-Mégantic train disaster its popular film Bird Box, but still says those images can't be removed.

In an open letter, Corie Wright, the entertainment company's director of global public policy, said Netflix was not aware of the source of the footage and steps are being taken to make sure this doesn't happen again.

"We apologize to the Lac-Mégantic community and to Netflix members who were saddened by seeing this footage," Wright said.

Stock images are commonly used within content on Netflix and on other services, the letter explains, and that widespread use prevents Netflix from changing finished content.

Images of the 2013 train derailment and explosion that killed 47 people was used to depict fictional disasters in Bird Box and a television show called Travelers.

Culture Minister Nathalie Roy wrote to the company last week, asking for the images to be removed as soon as possible.

The footage was shot on a cellphone the night of the disaster and sold by Pond5, a stock footage company.

Toronto production company Peacock Alley Entertainment, which created the television show, has already said it would try to replace the footage.

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