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These 6 countries demand that Netflix remove certain ‘offensive’ movies and shows

These 6 countries demand that Netflix remove certain ‘offensive’ movies and shows

A six-nation council of Arab nations has issued a joint statement calling on Netflix to remove certain “offensive” titles on the streaming service. An action that, while it didn’t specify which Netflix titles it was targeting, nevertheless seemed aimed at ones that depict gay and lesbian relationships.

The Gulf Cooperation Council, which issued the demand over the Netflix titles, includes the nations of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Along with the joint statement, the governments of Saudi Arabia and the UAE also published the statement on their own, aimed at Netflix titles that “contradict Islamic and societal values ​​and principles.”

An Associated Press report zeroed in on the content likely at issue here, which has also led the Arab nations to warn the streamer of potential legal action.

State television in Saudi Arabia, for example, aired an interview with a woman who claimed to be a “behavioral consultant” who decried Netflix for operating as an “official sponsor of homosexuality.” State television there also aired footage from the Netflix animated series Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous. Two female characters at one point kiss in that series, though the footage was blurred.

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A photo illustration of the Netflix app, shown on a smartphone. Image source: Photo Illustration by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

This, of course, is the dark side of the global streaming arms race. A contest whereby services like Netflix, Disney+, and others are racing to sign up as many subscribers as possible outside of the US.

Speaking of Disney, for example, 13 Muslim nations along with the Palestinian territory just a few months ago banned the showing of Pixar’s film Lightyear in local cinemas.

That $200 million film, which presents a sort of origin story of the popular Toy Story character, depicts two female characters kissing. Lightyear is also now streaming on Disney+.

Netflix, meanwhile, has controversially acceded to demands from the region before.

In 2019, because of a legal request from Saudi Arabia, the streamer pulled an episode of Hasan Minhaj’s Patriot Act show. That episode criticized Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.

Andy Meek profile photo

Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy’s coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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