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Muslim Countries Confront Netflix Over “Offensive” Content

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Several countries, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, are asking the streaming service Netflix to remove (in their countries) what they consider to be “offensive content.” 

Although not specific, they appear to be referring to content that contains stories or characters that are homosexual. The countries, part of the Gulf Cooperation Council, said some programs are in conflict with Islamic and social values in their countries. 

Saudi Arabia and The United Arab Emirates issued the request from their governments as well as from the Council. 

Though not specific about their objections to Netflix content, a hint came from Saudi state television, which aired a video of an interview with a woman who said that Netflix was sponsoring homosexual content. 

Saudi Arabia is concerned about Netflix programming affecting children, exposing them to values that are not in harmony with the Islamic state. 

Disney’s animated film, “Lightyear” was banned in June in the Muslim countries, due to two women kissing. Disney+ streaming service agreed to provide content to Gulf Arab countries that are in alignment with “local regulatory requirements”

Homosexuality is considered sinful in the Muslim world. LGBTQ people have been arrested and sent to jail for their behavior, even private behavior. Some have received the death penalty. 

Some are saying that it’s not only values that are motivating the ban on Netflix films. It’s also competition.  The Saudi-owned MBC Group has a streaming service that is in competition with Netflix. 

Netflix, which has headquarters in Los Gatos, California, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

One can only imagine what the Council’s countries think about other more controversial content on Netflix!

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