Briefing

Netflix says Lac-Mégantic footage will be removed from ‘Bird Box’

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The company reversed its January statement declining to remove the footage and apologized for the pain it caused the residents of the Quebec town. The move follows calls from politicians of all levels of government—including a motion from MPs—that the brief scene, which includes footage of the 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster, be removed from the streaming service’s hit movie. A new version will be released within two weeks. (Canadian Press)

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Talking point: This is Netflix’s latest move to get in the federal government’s good books. In February, the company announced plans to open a production hub in Toronto that would provide jobs for up to 1,850 Canadians a year. The company is playing nice following criticism from CBC president Catherine Tait in January. And, in December 2018, the CBC, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists and the Canadian Media Producers Association called for Netflix to start paying federal sales tax. In 2017, the company agreed to spend $500 million over five years on Canadian content, and the federal government did not announce that Netflix would have to pay tax. Pressure is growing for a federal tax, however. In January, Quebec and Saskatchewan started collecting provincial sales tax from Netflix and other foreign digital giants.