Titanic is returning to Netflix in July — and people are mad

How to watch Titanic online
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Usually, when Netflix adds a beloved classic film its library, people cheer. This time, they're booing. The streaming service is facing major backlash over adding Titanic on  July 1 in the U.S. and Canada in the wake of last week's OceanGate Titan submersible tragedy that killed all five passengers. 

The missing sub, which was set to explore the remains of Titanic wreckage in the Atlantic Ocean, made headlines as the world waited to find out its fate. Sadly, investigators announced the sub had imploded. 

The RMS Titanic sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg. More than 1,500 passengers perished, making it one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history. 

Director James Cameron famously shot actual footage of the ship's wreckage for his 1997 film, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as star-crossed lovers on the voyage. 

(L, R) Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack, in the water next to Kate Winslet as Rose, on the door, in Titanic

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios / Paramount / FlixPix / Alamy Stock Photo)

Cameron is an avid deep sea explorer who has traveled to the Titanic over 30 times and has gone to the Mariana Trench in the Deepsea Challenger submersible. He spoke to the media several times about the Titan tragedy, noting the sub's construction flaws and safety concerns. 

"I’m struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself," he told ABC News, "where the captain was repeatedly warned about ice ahead of his ship, and yet he steamed at full speed into an ice field on a moonless night and many people died as a result."

The re-addition of Titanic on Netflix is drawing outrage on social media. "Netflix is overstepping the boundaries of decency on this timing," a Twitter user wrote. Many expressed disgust that Netflix would capitalize on a tragedy. 

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Another Twitter user said, "Just cancelled my Netflix over this. So sick of the moral depravities these companies engage in for profit."

Most likely, Netflix didn't plan this at all. Insiders told Variety that the Titanic's arrival on July 1 is "a coincidence" as licensing agreements are worked out far in advance. 

It's just bad timing — and extremely bad optics.

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Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.