Baltimore bridge collapse not depicted in 2023 Netflix film

12 April 2024
What was claimed

The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore was shown in ruins in a shot from the 2023 Netflix film, Leave the World Behind, produced by the Obamas.

Our verdict

This isn’t true. The image being shared on social media has been altered, and never appeared in the film. Barack and Michelle Obama are, however, credited as executive producers of the film.

A claim being shared widely on social media that a 2023 Netflix film produced by the Obamas includes a shot of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore is false.

An image is circulating with the claim on Facebook, allegedly from the film Leave the World Behind, showing a figure sat on a bed looking through a window at the ruins of the bridge.

One post, shared 500 times, says: “For those of you that don’t know…. The Francis Scott Key bridge is the same bridge that was shown in the Netflix movie “Leave the World Behind”. The production company is owned by the Obamas.”

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed on 26 March, killing six construction workers, after one of its supports was struck by the Dali cargo ship in the early hours of the morning.

But shots showing the ruined bridge were never featured in Leave the World Behind, which debuted on Netflix in December 2023, and the image being shared on social media is a fabrication. 

However, Barack and Michelle Obama were credited as executive producers on the film through their production company Higher Ground Productions.

Leave the World Behind is an ‘apocalyptic thriller’ which does feature a large ship crashing into a beach early in the film. But it doesn’t feature any shot of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, which spanned the entrance to Baltimore Harbor in Maryland.

PolitiFact also reviewed scenes from the film and found no match for the Baltimore bridge.

The image being shared is an altered version of a stock AI-generated picture, which actually features a person looking out at a city skyline. 

And the image of the Francis Scott Key Bridge which has been inserted into the background in the altered version is credited to the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association, which shared it on its Facebook page on 26 March.

Investigations are ongoing into how the cargo ship that struck the bridge lost power

US President Joe Biden has said that it was believed that the disaster was a “terrible accident” and there was no indication that there was “any intentional act” which led to the collapse. 

Posts sharing misleading information, and miscaptioned images and videos, can spread quickly online especially during significant global events such as natural disasters, civil unrest and armed conflicts

It’s always worth considering whether a post actually depicts what it claims to show before sharing it online. Our guides on spotting misleading images and videos can help you to do this. 

Image courtesy of Patorjk

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.