Ottawa, Jan 31 (AP/UNB) — Canada's Parliament passed a motion Wednesday saying Netflix should compensate the people of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, for using footage of the 2013 rail disaster in the post-apocalyptic survival film "Bird Box."
The footage involved the disaster created when an unattended train carrying crude oil rolled down an incline, went off the tracks and exploded into a massive ball of fire, killing 47 people in the Quebec town.
The motion is non-binding but is a stern rebuke from Canada's Parliament for the use of footage from the rail explosion in "Bird Box" and in the series "Travelers."
Members of Parliament voted to demand that Netflix remove all images of the Lac-Megantic tragedy. Netflix has apologized but has refused to remove the images. Netflix licensed the footage from the stock image vendor Pond 5.
Pierre Nantel, a legislator with the opposition New Democrat party who introduced the motion this week, said he cannot accept Netflix not removing the footage.
"We know people are going to go and watch this film, and again these real images will be used," he said. "For people in Lac-Megantic, they saw images of their own downtown burning, and could imagine their own family members in it."
Netflix refused comment Wednesday, pointing only to a letter the company sent last week to Quebec's culture minister in response to her concerns. In it, Netflix public policy director Corie Wright said the company "understands that many feel frustration and sadness at seeing images of this tragic event," but it cannot make changes to "finished content."
Los Angeles, Jan 29 (AP/UNB) — Michael Jackson's family members said Monday that they are "furious" that two men who accuse him of sexually abusing them as boys have received renewed attention because of a new documentary about them.
The family released a statement denouncing "Leaving Neverland," a documentary film featuring Jackson accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck that premiered last week at the Sundance Film Festival and is set to air in the spring on HBO and the U.K.'s Channel 4.
"Michael always turned the other cheek, and we have always turned the other cheek when people have gone after members of our family — that is the Jackson way," the statement said. "But we can't just stand by while this public lynching goes on.... Michael is not here to defend himself, otherwise these allegations would not have been made."
The family points out that Jackson was subjected to a thorough investigation that included a surprise raid of his home, the Neverland Ranch, but was still acquitted at his criminal trial in 2005, in a case involving another young man.
Robson testified at that trial, saying he had slept in Jackson's room many times, but that Jackson had never molested him. Safechuck made similar statements to investigators as a boy. Jackson died in 2009.
Both men filed lawsuits in 2013 saying stress and trauma had forced them to face the truth and admit they were sexually abused. The suits have been thrown out on technical grounds but are under appeal.
The Jackson statement calls the men "perjurers" because of this reversal, saying the family is "furious" that media outlets without evidence have chosen "to believe the word of two admitted liars over the word of hundreds of families and friends around the world who spent time with Michael."
"Leaving Neverland" director Dan Reed said in a statement Monday that the film focuses only on the two men and their families because he felt "no need to include the opinions of people with no direct knowledge of what happened" to them.
"Anyone who sees the film will know it is solely about hearing the stories of two specific individuals and their families in their own words, and that is a focus we are very proud of," Reed said.
Reed has said previously he has no doubts about the validity of the men's claims.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, which Robson and Safechuck have done on multiple occasions.
The family insists that truth and evidence are on their side.
"We are proud of what Michael Jackson stands for," the statement said.
Park City, Jan 27 (AP/UNB) —Michael Jackson's estate is blasting a documentary that tells the stories of two men who accuse Michael Jackson of sexually molesting them when they were young boys, calling the film "tabloid character assassination."
A statement released by Jackson's estate late Friday calls the men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, "two perjurers" — a reference to sworn statements the men gave when Jackson was alive that he had not abused them. The men leveled their abuse allegations after Jackson's death.
The pair's stories are the basis for "Leaving Neverland," a four-hour documentary that will air later this year on HBO and Channel 4 in Britain. It earned a somber standing ovation after its premiere at Sundance on Friday.
The estate accuses the film of focusing too much on Robson and Safechuck and ignoring others who spent significant time with Jackson and "stated that he treated children with respect and did nothing hurtful to them."
Michael Jackson accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck have been greeted with a solemn standing ovation by a theater full of people at the Sundance Film Festival.
The stories of the two men who allege Jackson sexually abused them as children are detailed in the documentary "Leaving Neverland," which had its only screening Friday at the film festival.
In a Q&A, Robson said it has been an incredible experience being able to talk to Safechuck after feeling isolated for so long. Safechuck added that they were not offered any money to participate in the documentary, which will air on Britain's Channel 4 and HBO this spring.
The Jackson estate denounced the documentary for rehashing "discredited allegations." Jackson was acquitted of molestation charges in 2005.
Paris, Jan 27 (AP/UNB) — Oscar-winning composer and pianist Michel Legrand, whose hits included the score for the '60s romance "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" and the song "The Windmills of Your Mind" and who worked with some of biggest singers of the 20th century, has died at age 86.
Legrand last performed on stage just last month, and was still composing and practicing piano an hour a day even as fatigue increasingly forced him to economize his energy, said Claire de Castellane, a musician and producer who organized a series of recent solo piano concerts by Legrand. De Castellane confirmed his death Saturday, without providing details.
"MICHEL LEGRAND Feb. 24, 1932-Jan. 26, 2019," read the home page of his official website Saturday, followed by photographs of Legrand with Barbara Streisand, Miles Davis, Yves Montand and others. Tributes poured in on Twitter and Facebook, and French radio and television replayed songs from his vast repertoire.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced condolences to Legrand's wife and children, hailing him as an "indefatigable genius." ''His unique tunes that run through our heads and are hummed in the streets have become like the soundtracks of our lives," he said.
Legrand won three Academy Awards, five Grammys and two top awards at the Cannes Film Festival among other honors, according to his official website. He worked with famed lyricists in Hollywood and on Broadway — including Alan and Marilyn Bergman and Sheldon Harnick — as well as with French New Wave directors.
"The Windmills of Your Mind" won him his first Oscar, as the theme song for 1968's "The Thomas Crown Affair," sung by Noel Harrison. The song was later recorded by Dusty Springfield and many others. His songs marked some of the most memorable musical moments in French cinema, including 1964's "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" with Catherine Deneuve and "The Young Ladies of Rochefort."
Over a six-decade career he worked with performers ranging from Frank Sinatra to Aretha Franklin and Sting, and played an outsized role on the French musical scene. He continued touring into his 80s, last performing a month ago at the Paris Philharmonic, and was scheduled to give his next concert in February.
Though he had rich and rigorous musical education, Legrand sought to reach ordinary people. "He wrote very elaborate music, but for a regular audience," de Castellane said.
Performing right up until the end "was a very beautiful way to say goodbye," de Castellane said. "He was not afraid of death, he talked about it. He said it made him nervous" — like the nervousness performers feel before going on stage — "but it didn't frighten him."
Los Angeles, Jan 26 (AP/UNB) — Coroner office officials say former model and actress Kim Porter died last year from pneumonia.
The Los Angeles coroner's office on Friday released the results of its investigation into Porter's Nov. 15 death. Investigators determined after an autopsy that her death was from natural causes.
The 47-year-old was also a former girlfriend of Sean "Diddy" Combs and the pair had three children together. Combs eulogized Porter at her funeral in her hometown of Columbus, Georgia. Numerous celebrities, including Usher, Mary J. Blige, Lil' Kim and producer Russell Simmons attended the ceremony, which ended with fireworks.
Porter also has a son, actor-singer Quincy Brown, from a previous relationship with R&B singer Al B. Sure!
Combs called Porter "more than a soul" mate in a tweet after her death.