A number of Gulf countries have recently requested that American streaming service Netflix removes “offensive content” from its platform, hinting towards titles from the California-based giant’s catalogue that would allegedly “violate Islamic and societal values and principals.”
In total, six countries, namely KSA, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar, have collectively threatened the streaming platform with legal action in the event that Netflix would fail to comply with their pressing demands.
The coalition, known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), did not explicitly point toward any specific content, although Saudi state-run Al-Ekhbariya news channel condemned “movies and series for children with scenes promoting homosexuality under a dramatic cover via Netflix.” Meanwhile, others claimed that these were “very unfortunate and painful clips for our children, grandchildren, and the next generation.”
“The platform was contacted to remove this content, including content directed to children,” a joint statement from the GCC said before adding that 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.”
According to several reports, the media simultaneously played extracts from Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous where two female characters could be seen kissing.
This is not the first time that the Persian Gulf States have spoken out against broadcasting channels or programs in regard to the programs that are aired and put forward. Although viewed as one of the most liberal countries in the region, earlier this year, the UAE had taken the decision to ban the Disney-produced animation Lightyear which contained a same-gender kiss.
On a journey in the region to amplify the voices of Arab storytellers, we can only wonder how these recent charges aimed at Netflix will affect their ongoing and future initiatives.