Saudi Arabia and Gulf Neighbors threaten Netflix  over content that ‘Violates Islamic Values’

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Saudi Arabia and Gulf Neighbors threaten Netflix over content that ‘Violates Islamic Values’

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• Saudi Arabia and five other Gulf Arab countries issued a joint statement demanding that Netflix remove content they say “violates Islamic and societal values and principles,” Saudi media reported.
• The statement said that the streaming giant’s material was in breach of government regulations.
• Netflix has come under fire in many Middle Eastern countries for its feature of LGBTQ+ characters and content.

Saudi Arabia and five other Gulf Arab countries issued a joint statement demanding that Netflix remove content they say “violates Islamic and societal values and principles,” Saudi media has reported.

The statement said that the streaming giant’s material was in breach of government regulations, though it did not make specific reference to which topics or shows broke those rules.

It’s widely believed, however, and voiced by local media and officials, that Netflix shows featuring homosexual characters, same-sex kissing and children portrayed in a sexual light are the targets of the directive.

The move was taken “in light of the recent observation that the platform was broadcasting visual material and content which violates content controls in GCC countries,” readsthe statement by the Saudi General Commission for Audiovisual Media and the GCC Committee of Electronic Media Officials. The content “violates Islamic and societal values and principles. As such, the platform was contacted to remove this content, including content directed at children, and to ensure adherence to the laws.”

The GCC, or Gulf Cooperation Council, is comprised of the largely conservative, Muslim-majority states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. Homosexuality is criminalized in these countries and can be punished by fines, prison time or even the death penalty.

“All legal measures will be taken to protect the Kingdom’s sovereignty, citizens and residents from any intellectual attack aimed at affecting its societies, values, safety of upbringing their generations and protecting them from harmful content,” EsraAssery, CEO of the Saudi General Commission for Audiovisual Media, told Saudi outlet Arab News.

(Reported by Natasha Turak)

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