Gulf Arab states led by Saudi Arabia have demanded that Netflix remove all contents deemed to violate “Islamic and societal values and principles” after the streaming giant released a new animation movie showing teenage girls kiss each other.
In a statement released Wednesday, September 7, the Saudi and Gulf Co-operation Council media watchdogs warned that recent material by Netflix including that made for children, contravened regulations.
The move comes after Saudi state TV showed blurred clips from animated show Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, in which two teenage girls confess they love each other and kiss.
Footage from the controversial French film Cuties also featured in the report by Al Ekhbariya TV, along with a caption accusing Netflix of being “cinematic cover for immoral messages that threaten the healthy upbringing of children”.
Another video of the Saudi Arabian warning on Al Ekhbariya’s website alleged that the streaming service was “promoting homosexuality by focusing excessively on homosexuals”.
“[Netflix] was contacted to remove this content, including content directed at children, and to ensure adherence to the laws,” the joint statement from the Saudi General Commission for Audiovisual Media and the GCC Committee of Electronic Media Officials said.
Authorities would follow up on compliance with the directives, and “in the event that the infringing content continues to be broadcast, the necessary legal measures will be taken”, they warned.
In Saudi Arabia, sexual relations outside marriage, including homosexual sex, are strictly prohibited.
Under the country’s interpretation of Islamic law, consensual same-sex sexual conduct is punishable by death or flogging, depending on the perceived seriousness of the case.
In April, cinemas in Saudi Arabia did not screen the film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness after Disney refused a request from Saudi authorities to cut what they called “LGBTQ references”.
The animated film Lightyear, which featured a same-sex kiss, was reportedly banned in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in June.