Actually, for a man of his experience, his integrity, and his constant desire to service The Film, I would have to say that failing having De Palma or Richard Kline on hand to advise him, that yes. Yes it is his call.Someone has to make those calls; put it this way. Would you trust Robert Harris to do the right thing? If so, you can trust James White.
I would trust Mr. White to make that call. He was dealing with a very interesting situation, and one that doesn't occur frequently.
Two sets of elements.
One older set, with timing baked in at the dupe stage, as well as it could be for the era of the specific dupe stock, in representing the way that the scene had been exposed and processed. And another that may give a more pleasing representation of the shot, having access to digital tools.
I found myself in precisely the same situation in dealing with the assassination sequence in the Italian restaurant from The Godfather. On the second night of the shoot, a huge error occurred at the lab.
I had no way of knowing this, except by examining the shots as part of an original dye transfer print, which yielded a huge question mark. Why did the shots look wrong?
Fortunately, I was able to pick up the phone, and ask the question of Mr. Willis, and in doing so, took him back to that morning viewing dailies in 1972, discovering that the lab had neglected to push process his work - and thereby ruining his perfectly good morning in 2007.
Mr. White reached out to both his director and DP, but unfortunately received no response.
He did what he felt was correct under the circumstances. A very decent judgment call. Was it correct? I have no answer.
Does it look different, based upon the element and tools now available?
Might things have been handled differently?
One could hold up the completion of the master, and the Blu-ray release until someone from the production became involved, and explained how they wanted the shot handled.
Was that luxury available to Arrow?