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Saudi Arabia agreed to host explicit Netflix shows in exchange
for the removal of a satirical episode that criticized the kingdom,
the streaming giant’s CEO said.
On January 1, 2019, Netflix
confirmed it removed for its Saudi viewers an episode of “Patriot
Act with Hasan Minhaj” in which Minhaj accused Saudi Arabia of
covering up the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and slammed the
continued bombing of Yemen.
“It blows my mind that it took the killing of a Washington Post
journalist for ever one to go: ‘Oh, I guess [Crown Prince Mohammed]
is not a reformer,” he said in the episode.
“Meanwhile, every Muslim person you know was like: ‘Yeah, no
At the time, Netflix said it deleted the show following a “valid
legal request” from the kingdom which claimed the episode violated
its cybercrime laws.
But on September 10, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the show was
removed in exchange for some of its other, more explicit content
could be made available to Saudi customers.
“It’s a troubling compromise, not something that we approach
easily or lightly, but on balance we think it’s a good move,”
Hastings told CNN.
Hastings said Saudi Arabia agreed to host shows like “Orange is
the New Black,” Queer Eye,” and “Sex Education” in exchange.�
And while Minhaj’s episode was removed from Netflix in Saudi
Arabia, it remained on the streaming company’s YouTube page.
Despite huge social reforms over the last two years â€” like
changing a law that
let men control women’s movements via app â€” Saudi Arabia
remains an extremely conservative country.
Homosexuality is punishable with the death penalty in the
kingdom, and women there do not enjoy anywhere near the same rights
Minhaj mocked Netflix’s decision to remove his episode at the
tweeting: “Clearly, the best way to stop people from watching
something is to ban it, make it trend online, and then leave it up
Source: FS – All – Entertainment – News
Saudi Arabia allowed sexually explicit Netflix shows like
'Sex Education' in exchange for removing one satire episode that
criticized the kingdom, CEO Reed Hastings said