You might have thought the flames of discontent had died down since the recent uproar surrounding the Lebanese remake of Perfect Strangers, but it looks like they’re picking up again. A lawyer has officially filed a lawsuit to ban not only the film, but all of Netflix in Kuwait.
The lawyer, Abdulaziz Saud Al-Subai’i has filed the lawsuit against the Ministries of Information and Communications, and the Communications and Information Technology Regulatory Authority to be discussed on May 25th. Al-Subai’i made his claim for “religious and moral” motives to the Kuwaiti High Court, to block the online movie streaming platform that recently hosted the film.
In his lawsuit, Al-Subai’i said: “The American platform has recently produced and shown an Arab movie (Perfect Strangers) that provoked a wave of public anger, due to its call – through many scenes – to moral decay”.
It seems a shock, and somewhat ironic that from all of the content available on Netflix, (let alone the internet) Perfect Strangers is the catalyst for the issuing of the lawsuit.
Whilst reactions from the region have been mixed regarding the movie, ranging from the pious to profane; we decided to dig a little deeper to find out what the Kuwaiti youth had to say on the matter.
“People went berserk, they went crazy over this movie because it’s Arabic, not just because of its content.” said 27 year old Moe. Another, who preferred to remain unnamed, said “Go ahead! Please take away our last string of happiness!”, whilst an American expat residing in Kuwait City said “I mean look at it this way, Netflix follows a specific political agenda that goes against the vast majority of Eastern cultures. I can understand why Kuwait wants to ban their ‘woke’ agenda”.
Others took a more satirical route, stating “Someone should tell this guy about the Streisand effect. I had no idea about this movie, and wouldn’t have cared if it came across my feed, but now I’m going to watch it just to see what the fuss is all about. Best publicity the movie could’ve asked for!” Another added “It should be banned for bad acting and cringe not because of the content”.
Whilst the outcome of the lawsuit remains to be seen, it’s generally understood that the outcome would not rule in favor of Al-Subai’i’s case. However, it’s a great example of the struggle between progressive and conservative mindsets in the Gulf nation.