Gulf Arab Nations demand Netflix remove content ‘offensive’ to Islamic values

Several Arab nations have initiated a coordinated campaign against streaming company Netflix, demanding that they remove “offensive” material as they seek to tighten regulation on content that is produced outside their jurisdiction.

Some of the countries that have signed the statement include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.

Saudi Arabia issued a statement on Tuesday on behalf of all nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council, stating that the bloc have request Netflix remove programming that violates Islamic values, which includes some content which is targeted towards children. 

The United Arab Emirates, also issued their own statement, saying that Netflix violated local regulations and “contradicts the country’s societal value.” Its media watchdog would be monitoring Netflix’s content “from now on” and will take action if local laws are flouted.

The statements didn’t go into specifics about which content was causing offense but Saudi state-run Al Ekhbariya news channel on Tuesday ran segments hitting out at Netflix for “promoting sexual deviance” to children, in an apparent reference to homosexuality.

“Pay a monthly fee to Netflix, and your child gets to watch this immoral content,” the voice-over says, as a blurred scene apparently showing a same-sex embrace from “Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous” is played with ominous music in the background. It cited social media campaigns calling for the banning of Netflix.

Al Ekhbariya accused Netflix of being “cinematic cover for immoral messages that threaten the healthy upbringing of children,” the BBC confirmed. Al Ekhbariya also said the platform promoted “homosexuality by focusing excessively on homosexuals.”

The call to remove content comes after several countries in the same region pushed back on Disney for a scene featuring lesbians in the new “Lightyear” film.

Disney responded to the controversy by saying the release of its content would reflect local values. All “content available should align with local regulatory requirements,” the company said.




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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