The success of Netflix's new post-apocalyptic thriller Bird Box has given rise to an unlikely craze, forcing the streaming giant to call on viewers not to take part.
“Can’t believe I have to say this, but PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE,” Netflix US tweeted.
“We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in hospital due to memes.”
Susanne Bier’s film stars Sandra Bullock as a mother of two – Boy and Girl - forced to escape mysterious supernatural creatures that have decimated earth’s population in the near-future.
Bullock’s Malorie Hayes, one of the few survivors, cannot look at her oppressors without going mad and being driven to suicide so sports a blindfold as she navigates treacherous terrain, including a raging mountain river, to safety.
Fans of the film have been seeking to recreate her ordeal as part of the “Bird Box challenge”, engaging in dangerous activities while blindfolded and documenting their exploits on social media.
In addition to Netflix, the National Federation of the Blind has also condemned the trend as insensitive, saying it “creates mistaken and harmful impressions of blindness and blind people, perpetuating misconceptions”.
On 28 December, the site announced that 45,037,125 accounts had already watched Bird Box, giving the film the best opening week ever for a Netflix movie.
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