Netflix used actual footage from a 2010 train crash in Belgium, which left 19 people dead and more than 160 injured, in one of its movies and never consulted the victims about it — and now they’re “furious.”
“I think it is a complete lack of respect for those involved,” said survivor Anita Mahy in an interview with the Belgian newspaper De Standaard. “You’ll just sit and watch an evening movie unsuspectingly and then face the accident again.”
The footage in question appeared in the Netflix film “Death Note” and shows an overhead shot of the wreckage from the 2010 crash, which involved two passenger trains colliding head-on during morning rush hour.
A spokesman for Belgium’s national railway company, SNCB, told the BBC that Netflix did not ask for permission to use it.
The company told Le Soir newspaper that it “deplore[s]the use of these images taken completely out of context” — blasting the move as “disrespectful.”
“It makes me furious,” Mahy said.
Netflix released “Death Note” in July 2017, but the outrage has just now publicly surfaced.
“It’s a shock for the relatives when you are watching a movie and you are suddenly confronted with the pictures,” Dimitri Temmerman, rail worker for SNCB, told Belgium’s VRT News. “They just use the pictures to illustrate any accident.”
SNCB officials told VRT that they plan to take action against Netflix, which has yet to comment on the backlash.
“We will have to respond,” said spokesman Dimitri Temmerman. “Our permission wasn’t sought. A response is needed out of respect for the victims of the rail disaster and everybody who was involved, rail staff and emergency workers.”