| 23 February 2024, Friday |

Gulf states demand Netflix pull content deemed offensive

Gulf Arab states have demanded that U.S. streaming giant Netflix remove content deemed offensive to “Islamic and societal values” in the region, Saudi Arabia’s media regulator said on Tuesday.

It did not specify the content but mentioned that it included content aimed at children. Saudi state-run Al Ekhbariya TV, in a programme discussing the issue, showed blurred out animation clips that appeared to show two girls embracing.

The Riyadh-based General Commission for Audiovisual Media statement said the content violated media regulations in the Gulf Cooperation Council, which groups Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

If Netflix continued to broadcast the content then “necessary legal measures will be taken”, it said, without elaborating.

Netflix did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

On Tuesday, the UAE released a similar statement on Netflix material, saying it will monitor what the platform transmits in the following days and “evaluate its adherence to broadcasting controls” in the country.

Same-sex partnerships are illegal in many Muslim-majority countries, and films depicting such relationships have previously been prohibited by authorities in those countries, while others including profanity or illicit drug usage are occasionally restricted.

The UAE and several Muslim countries prohibited the exhibition of Walt Disney-animated Pixar’s feature film “Lightyear” earlier this year because it featured characters in a same-sex relationship.

  • Reuters