Netflix Faces Backlash for Titanic Return Amidst Recent Tragedy


Netflix is bringing back James Cameron’s Oscar-winning 1997 film this week. Titanic returns to the streamer on July 1 in the U.S. and Canada.

The announcement has garnered attention due to the recent Titan submersible tragedy, which captured the world’s attention and resulted in the loss of four passengers and the sub’s pilot. Additionally, Netflix released a trailer for a documentary called The Deepest Breath, focusing on freediving. Both releases have faced criticism on social media, with some accusing the streaming platform of being insensitive.

Users on social media have expressed their disapproval of Titanic’s return. One user wrote, “The timing is so wrong,” while another commented, “Netflix just couldn’t help themselves.” A third user criticized the streamer, stating, “Netflix is overstepping the boundaries of decency with this timing.” Another user’s comment highlighted the perceived insensitivity: “Netflix marketing director: ‘You know how we could really capitalize on the tragic deaths of those people? Put the Titanic on Netflix for some easy cash because $31.6 billion a year in revenue isn’t enough.’ How broken and sick does your brain have to be to think this way?”

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Many have questioned when the decision to bring back the film was made, assuming it must have been after the tragedy. However, Titanic was already listed in Netflix’s July films lineup before the Titan was reported missing. It is important to note that licensing deals for films are often negotiated well in advance of the air date. Titanic has been available for streaming on Prime Video.

Regarding the documentary, Netflix released the trailer for The Deepest Breath last Tuesday, after the sub went missing but before its tragic outcome was revealed. It is worth mentioning that the documentary is unrelated to the Titanic or submersibles, instead focusing on Alessia Zecchini, the current holder of the freediving world record.

Following the Titan tragedy, James Cameron himself drew parallels between the sinking of the ill-fated ship and the recent incident, stating, “Many people in the community were concerned about this sub and even wrote letters to the company saying that what they were doing was too experimental and needed certification. I’m struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself, where the captain was repeatedly warned about ice ahead of his ship, yet he steamed at full speed into an ice field on a moonless night, resulting in many deaths. It’s a very similar tragedy at the exact same site. It’s astonishing and really quite surreal.”

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Speaking to BBC News, Cameron shared his intuition about the sub’s fate soon after it was reported missing, stating, “I felt in my bones what had happened. For the sub’s electronics, communication system, and tracking transponder to fail simultaneously — the sub’s gone. I knew that the sub was sitting exactly underneath its last known depth and position. That’s exactly where they found it. [It] felt like a prolonged and nightmarish charade where people are running around talking about banging noises and oxygen, and all this other stuff.”

In light of these events, Netflix’s decision to bring back Titanic and release The Deepest Breath has faced significant backlash on social media. Critics argue that the timing is inappropriate and question the streamer’s sensitivity and judgment in capitalizing on the recent tragedy.

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