A group of Persian gulf states is threatening to take legal action against Netflix if it does not remove content offensive to Islam. The Arab countries did not specify the shows or movies but indicated content depicting sexual minorities.
According to a statement issued by a Saudi media regulator and the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Netflix needs to remove broadcasting content that “contradicts Islamic and societal values”. The statement also demands the streaming giant remove similar content aimed at children.
The statement says:
Regional authorities will follow up on the platform’s compliance with the directives, and in the event that the infringing content continues to be broadcast, the necessary legal measures will be taken.
For those unaware, the GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While the statement does not specifically mention the shows it wants to remove, it is clear the kind of content it is pointing at. “Movies and series for children with scenes promoting homosexuality under a dramatic cover via Netflix”.
A lawyer argued on live television that these kinds of clips were “very unfortunate and painful clips for our children, grandchildren, and the next generation”. In a separate segment on the same channel, clips were shown from the animated show Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous in which two female characters kiss, but their faces were blurred out.
Another channel interviewed a self-described “family and educational adviser” who said that “offensive content is sneaking into our homes, and we are facing a censorship crisis.”
This isn’t the first time Gulf countries had a tussle with US film distributors over content depicting romantic relationships between people of the same sex. Back in June, The UAE banned the Disney animated film Lightyear, which shows two females kissing.