Several countries in the Arabian Gulf have issued warnings urging streaming service giant Netflix to remove “offensive content” especially involving people who are gay and lesbian, because it violates the values and principles of Islam and society.”
The statement warns that if the infringing content continues to be broadcast, then necessary legal action will be taken against Netflix.
Although it did not specify the content in question, the warning issued in a statement by the media watchdog of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States (GCC) referred to recent programs aimed at children.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are known to have published this statement through their respective state media. In addition, they, along with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar, formed a council of six Gulf Arab states to highlight the spread of homosexuality or LGBTQ content.
The UAE will reportedly follow up on content broadcast by Netflix in the coming days to assess their commitment to broadcasting controls in the country.
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia went a step further in highlighting films and shows featuring LGBT characters. A segment of the Saudi state-run Al-Ekhbariya news channel lamented movies and series for children with scenes promoting homosexuality under dramatic cover via Netflix.
A behavioral consultant who spoke in the segment described Netflix as the official sponsor of homosexuality.
In a different segment, Al-Ekhbariya also aired footage of the animated show Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, which features two female characters kissing, although the channel blurred out the footage.
Gulf Arab countries have repeatedly clashed with US film distributors over content featuring homosexuality. Earlier this year, the UAE and other Muslim countries banned the Walt Disney-Pixar Lightyear animation from showing in theaters because it featured lesbian kissing.
Most Muslims consider gays and lesbians to be sinful. In some parts of the Arab world, laws can be imposed on members of the LGBT community, ranging from imprisonment to even the death penalty.