Netflix’s Bird Box captured an enormous number of eyeballs over the holidays and through January, and although the streaming service’s newest A-lister movie, Triple Frontier, has now seized the moment, there’s still be a lingering issue for those who took umbrage with a key Bird Box scene. That would be the moment when Bullock’s character clicks through TV channels amid the unfolding apocalypse and lands upon a real-life train disaster — of the 2013 Quebec Lac-Megantic tragedy (47 people died, and much of the surrounding town suffered heavy damage from the resulting, widespread fire).
As of mid-January, Netflix declined to remove the offending footage, but the streaming service has decided to switch game plans. As both BBC and Canadian Press reveal, a Netflix spokesperson has now issued a brief statement: “We’re sorry for any pain caused to the Lac-Mégantic community.”
Netflix plans to replace the footage in question with “an outtake from a TV series,” but the process is expected to take “several weeks.” On Thursday, Quebec’s culture minister, Natahlie Roy, tweeted a message of gratitude, including her sentiment that Netflix’s decision “demonstrates that by staying united and working together, anything is possible.”
There’s no indication of why Netflix has decided to make this move now, although to be fair, they may have still had a headache from having to warn people not to do the “Bird Box challenge” involving potentially dangerous actions while blindfolded. YouTube later banned videos to that effect.