Warner cut off Netflix to profit from Whitney's death? Not true

Hearsay that Warner Bros. was looking to make a "very large amount of money" on DVD sales of "The Bodyguard" after the singer's death was false.

The rumor mill turned out to be wrong this time.

News that Warner Bros. yanked Netflix's streaming rights to Whitney Houston's hit movie "The Bodyguard" went viral a couple of days ago. The company's purported greedy goal was to make a "very large amount of money on the DVD sales" from "all the publicity after Whitney Houston's passing," according to Dan McDermott, the host of Web show Google Plus Week.

However, after Peter Kafka from AllThingsD reported that the story was bogus, McDermott apologized and announced that both he and the Netflix representative that told him that information were completely wrong.

What in fact happened is that Netflix lost streaming rights to the 1992 Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner romantic thriller as of December 31, 2011, before she died on February 11.

The idea of corporations profiting from tragedy isn't actually too farfetched. Just last week, Sony was forced to apologize for substantial price hikes on two of Houston's albums in the U.K., which came one day after she was found dead.

Even though "The Bodyguard" can't be streamed on Netflix, the DVD is still available; and, as of this writing, Amazon Prime members can also stream it for free.

Update: 2-21-12, 6:40 a.m. PT: To include citation of All Things Digital.

About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.


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