Netflix was not forced to pull “The Bodyguard” from its streaming service after Whitney Houston’s death, according the both the company, and a writer who publicized the accusation.
“The Bodyguard” was Houston’s biggest film. It co-starred Kevin Costner, who spoke during her memorial service on Saturday.
Reports swirled online yesterday claiming that Netflix was forced to pull the movie from their streaming service. An apparent attempt to make those who wanted to see the movie buy it. The studio which owns the rights to the movie, Warner Bros, was blamed for the move.
The charge came in the wake of something similar that happened last week. Sony has now admitted that they raised the price on two of Houston’s albums in Apple’s UK iTunes store. Sony came under criticism for trying to take advantage of Houston’s death to make money. Sony now says the albums were mistakenly mispriced, and the pricing has since been corrected.
We may never know for sure if Sony’s price change was opportunistic or just an ‘opps’. But after that incident was publicized, it was easy to believe reports that Warner Bros was angling to make money on the singer’s death.
An exposé about Netflix being forced to pull “The Bodyguard” was written by Dan McDermott.
He has now updated the story, saying “My post about Netflix losing streaming rights to The Bodyguard after Whitney Houston’s death was 100% accurate. It was also 100% wrong.”
But how can it be accurate, and wrong?
McDermott explains what happened in a post here. But to sum it up, he saw that people were complaining online that the movie had been pulled. He checked and was told by a rep at Netflix that the movie had been pulled by Warner Bros, so they could sell more DVD’s. McDermott reported that.
He was then contacted by Netflix and told that was not accurate. The movie was pulled from streaming on January 1, well prior to her death. As part of the normal course of business, Netflix did not retain the right to stream the film after the new year.
McDermott was able to confirm this by searching a cache of the movie’s page through Google.