An Amazon show is being accused of crossing the line in connection to a Canadian tragedy. Global News reported on Wednesday that producers of the hit series The Boys, which is filmed in Toronto, canceled their shoot of a violent scene. The shoot was located close to Mel Lastman Square, where 10 people were brutally murdered during a terrorist attack back in 2018.
Brad Ross, Toronto’s chief communications officer, later explained that the decision followed complaints by community members who were traumatized during last year's attack. Toronto Councillor John Filion, who caught wind of the shooting, personally made phone calls in an effort to shut down the production of the controversial scene.
“I flipped out,” Filion told The Toronto Sun. “There are people who work in this building, who went out onto Yonge St. to try to help the van attack victims, many of them are still traumatized. And think about the families and loved ones of those victims.”
“So, I made some phone calls, and that second portion was cancelled. It’s not about confusion. It’s about people literally re-living those events. It’s disrespectful to even think of it. Even if nobody had seen anything, it’s still disrespectful. I guess somebody just wasn’t thinking.”
Torontonians had mostly mixed feelings about the cancellation.
One Twitter user stating, "There wasn't anywhere else in the city (or world) where this could have been filmed not on the site of a literal massacre?"
While another user took a different stance by asking, "They know it's fake right?"
Alek Minassian, the man accused in the van attack, is scheduled to go to trial in February 2020, he is facing 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder. Meaning that the tragedy is still fresh in the minds of many who live or work near the area.
Minassian revealed to police that he felt like he had “accomplished” his mission by carrying out the attack. He also claimed to be part of a movement of “angry incels.”
However, this isn't the first time that a show has caused controversy over filming in Canada.
Earlier this year, Netflix faced backlash after using footage of a Canadian tragedy in their recent post-apocalyptic, thriller film, Bird Box. The Canadian government urged filmmakers to pay residuals to the victims of the Lac-Mégantic Disaster for using clips from the disaster in the film Bird Box.
Netflix eventually responded to the controversy by removing the footage of the Lac-Mégantic Disaster from the film.