Netflix was hit with a wave of blowback after viewers were shocked by footage of walruses falling to their deaths in the new docuseries “Our Planet.”
A sample of the footage is contained in the short behind-the-scenes clip that you can watch below.
TMZ reports that the series, which came out Friday, “documents the effects of climate change on wildlife around the globe. One episode focuses on Russian walruses that are dying off due to receding ice levels.
“In covering the epidemic, filmmakers recorded several walruses scaling rocky cliffs near the ocean, and some of them fell over the ledge … leaving them seriously injured or even dead from the impact.”
Viewers reported being traumatized by the footage, with a number of them taking to social media to voice complaints about the series.
“Do not recommend the new David Attenborough series on Netflix, just watched walruses fall down an 80m cliff (in slow mo) because they can’t see where they’re going well out of water and I’m emotionally unstable,” wrote one Twitter user.
TMZ adds: “Some critics accuse the producers of emotional manipulation and twisting facts … and that includes some zoologists and prominent environmentalists, who claim the walrus scene is out of context.
“For instance, Dr. Susan Crockford went public this week saying the walruses filmed for this scene were falling off the cliff to escape polar bears … not because climate change is reducing their natural icy habitat. Patrick Moore, the co-founder of Greenpeace, backed that up too.”
Netflix insists the series is legit, and says the walruses will remain in the production, TMZ reports.
“Netflix is standing firm behind what they say is a documented fact — that walruses are being forced to gather on land because there’s less ice available … which leaves them in unfamiliar, dangerous territory,” TMZ reports. “Additionally, Netflix tells us the “Our Planet” team worked with a seasoned Russian biologist who’s worked on that stretch of coastline — and with those walruses — for 35 years.”
Here is the behind-the-scenes clip, which includes the warning “This video contains scenes that some viewers may find difficult to watch” …