The leader of a media watchdog says Netflix is acknowleding its influence on viewers after agreeing to drop a controversial scene from a film.
Following public outcry, Netflix removed a scene from the Sandra Bullock thriller “Bird Box” that used news footage of a deadly train wreck in Canada.
More than 40 people were killed in Quebec in 2013 when a freight train carrying crude oil derailed, setting the town of Lac-Megantic ablaze.
“Bird Box” used the actual news footage in a scene with Bullock only to drop it when the public recognized the fiery scene, which is depicted as a chaotic street scene in Eastern Europe in the film.
“We find that it’s really a lack of respect,” the town’s mayor said, “to use these images as fiction and entertainment.”
Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council, tells OneNewsNow that Netflix deserves credit for dropping the footage but adds that it also shows the media company is admitting its content impacts the public.
"They are at one turn agreeing and editing content out because they're aware of the public concern and pushback,” he observes. “But at the same time they are ignoring calls on shows like ‘13 Reasons Why,’ which romanticized teen suicide, has led to a demonstrated, proven 26-percent increase on Google search for 'How do I kill myself' and is being marketed to children."
The teen show, a hit for Netflix, has been directly tied to teens who killed themselves after watching the show, but Netflix has flatly refused to end the series despite the life-changing effect on teens and their families.
Winter and others also expressed frustration that Netflix streamed a foreign film in which two children are involved in a sexually explicit scene.
A producer of the film has defended the scene because the two pre-teen girls didn’t understand what they were doing, and Netflix ignored accusations it is streaming child pornogrpahy.