A group of Gulf Arab countries on Tuesday asked Netflix to remove “offensive content” on the streaming service, apparently targeting programs that show people who are gay and lesbian.
A joint statement issued on behalf of a committee of the Gulf Cooperation Council made the request, saying the unspecified programs “contradict Islamic and societal values and principles.” They have threatened Netflix with legal action if it continues to broadcast content that “contradicts” Islam
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates each published the statement via their respective governments as well. They, along with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, make up the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.
Saudi state television aired video of an interview it conducted with a woman identified as a “behavioral consultant” who described Netflix as being an “official sponsor of homosexuality.” It aired footage at the same time of a cartoon, “Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous,” in which two women kissed, though the footage was blurred out.
There was no immediate response from Netflix.
This comes as Gulf countries have repeatedly clashed with US film distributors over content related to sexual minorities, particularly in films.
The United Arab Emirates in June banned the Disney animated film Lightyear which contains a lesbian kiss.
Whilst the UAE is considered one of the more liberal countries in the Gulf region, films with adult content are routinely cut or edited.
Saudi Arabia, which only recently opened cinemas in 2017, asked Disney in April to cut “LGBTQ references” in the Marvel superhero film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Disney refused to comply and the film was not screened in the kingdom.
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