The statement claimed that the streaming behemoth’s content violated legal requirements, although it made no mention of which specific subjects or programmes were in violation.
But it’s commonly thought, and has been stated by local media and officials, that Netflix episodes with homosexual protagonists, same-sex kisses, and portrayals of youngsters as having sexual orientation are the things that the mandate is intended to stop.
The move was taken, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the GCC Committee of Electronic Media Officials and the Saudi General Commission for Audiovisual Media. “In light of the recent observation that the platform was broadcasting visual material and content which violated content controls in GCC countries.”
The information “violates fundamental society and Islamic values and practises. Therefore, the platform was contacted to ensure compliance with the law and to delete this content, particularly content aimed at children.
The Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC, is made up of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman, all of which have a majority of conservative Muslims. In these nations, homosexuality is a crime that carries fines, jail time, and possibly the death penalty.
If Netflix disregards the government’s demand, legal action is also being threatened.
The Saudi General Commission for Audiovisual Media’s CEO, Esra Assery, stated that “all legal means will be taken to preserve the sovereignty, citizens, and residents of the Kingdom from any intellectual attack.” intended to affect its societies, values, safety of upbringing their generations, and protecting them from harmful content.”
When approached by CNBC, Netflix declined to comment and has not yet provided a public response to the assertion.
Violates Islamic norms
Tuesday saw the publication of a television report on the subject from the Saudi state news station Al Ekhbariya TV that featured segments from the Netflix cartoon series “Jurassic World: In the state network’s narrative, two female characters were seen kissing and declaring their love for one another.
Netflix promotes kid homosexuality beneath a dramatic cover, according to Al Ekhbariya’s story, which was shared on the news outlet’s official Twitter account, which has 1.4 million followers. Will Saudi Arabia soon censor #Netflix?
Another tweet from the official network stated that Netflix distributes “immoral teachings” and endangers children’s healthy upbringing. It included the hashtags “#CancelNetflix” and “#BoycottNetflix” in a tweet with a video.
The allegations have received no response from Netflix. However, many of its customers in the U.S. and Europe have praised the streaming service for including LGBTQ+ characters and material, saying it sets a good example for diversity and representation. With 220 million subscribers globally as of last June, Netflix continues to have the most consumers of any commercial streaming service.
A crackdown on LGBTQ+ themes
Authorities in the oil-rich Arab Gulf states have fought with Western media against homosexual content before, so this is by no means a new development. The Gulf countries and various other countries in East and South Asia forbade the cinematic distribution of the Disney Pixar animated feature “Lightyear” in June due to its representation of a same-sex romance and a brief same-sex kiss.
Additionally, the UAE government ordered Amazon, a major online retailer, to ban searches for LGBTQ-related products on its UAE website in July. Soon after that, as part of a campaign against homosexuality, Saudi Arabian police raided many children’s establishments and seized toys and apparel with rainbow themes, according to state media at the time.