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Quebec urged entertainment giant Netflix Inc. (NFLX.O) to remove footage of a deadly rail disaster from two of its productions, including new horror movie ‘Bird Box.’
In a Jan. 18 letter to Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings and made public Saturday, Quebec Culture Minister Nathalie Roy deplored the company’s “lack of compassion, empathy and solidarity” with people touched by the tragedy. She backed a request by the mayor of Lac-Megantic, a town of 6,000 people three hours east of Montreal, to have the images removed from all productions.
“As many Quebecers, our government has trouble understanding how a global giant like Netflix could consider it fine to use such images in this context,” she wrote. “From a moral and ethical perspective, that’s simply inadmissible.”
The tragedy of Lac-Megantic is still fresh in the province’s memory. Much of downtown was destroyed and 47 people were killed when an unattended train carrying oil rolled down a hill, derailed and exploded on a Friday night in July 2013, in what would be Canada’s worst railway disaster in a century.
“If this has touched one of your loved ones, Mr. Hastings, how would you have reacted when learning a multinational company was using images carrying heavy and dark memories and only for its own profit?” Roy asked.
Netflix didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The other production was the series ‘Travelers,’ according to the ministry.