Gulf countries call for Netflix to remove content deemed offensive

Lhe joint statement from the telecommunications police of Saudi Arabia and the five other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) does not specify the nature of the content deemed offensive. “The platform has been contacted to remove this content, especially those intended for children”the statement said.

The authorities will ensure “that the guidelines are respected by the platform and, if illegal content continues to be disseminated, they will take the necessary legal measures”, he warns. Netflix did not react immediately.

“Scenes promoting homosexuality”

Saudi media were more explicit about content deemed offensive in the statement from GCC countries, citing films featuring LGBTQ characters.

The state channel Al-Ekhbariya denounced “children’s films and series with scenes promoting homosexuality via Netflix”. In a live interview, a lawyer lamented “very inappropriate and painful scenes for our children, our grandchildren and the future generation”.

In a separate section, the Al-Ekhbariya channel showed scenes from the animated film Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous in which two female characters, whose faces have been blurred, kiss each other.

Interviewed by the channel, a person presenting himself as “family affairs and education counselor”regrets that offensive content “creep into our homes” and that the country faces “a crisis of censorship”.

Under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has opened up to entertainment and major world events, but political and social restrictions remain very strong. In 2017, authorities lifted the cinema ban.

In April, Saudi Arabia asked Disney to remove “LGBTQ references” in the Marvel movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, in order to authorize its projection in the rooms of the ultraconservative kingdom. Disney did not comply and the film was not screened in Arabia.

In June, the United Arab Emirates banned the animated film from Pixar Studios Buzz Lightningwhich contains a fleeting kiss scene between two women.

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