Netflix has been in the news for all the right reasons as of late. From knocking it out of the park with thrillers such as Bird Box to the newest Black Mirror movie that left Twitter in shambles for the 48 hours following its release, it's clear the streaming platform wanted to end 2018 strong. Though the platform isn't a stranger to a blunder or two and the latest has to do with one of their own original series. The situation involves an episode from Patriot Act, which is a comedy show fronted by an American comedian named Hasan Minhaj.
The show currently has one season on Netflix and follows Hasan's standup that is oriented around current involving politics, popular culture and technology. While so far the series has been well received in North America, that isn't the case on the global scale.
In fact, Netflix ended up pulling an episode of the show from the Saudi Arabian variation of the platform. A move that is being called a "crackdown on freedom of expression" by Amnesty International.
The reason that the episode was pulled was due to Minhaj talking about Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman during the segment. He criticized Salman over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi who was a Washington Post journalist who died in custody while in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia claims that the Crown Prince had no knowledge of the plan to kill the reporter, but Minhaj also had choice words about the current war in Yemen led by Saudi Arabia displayed in the episode.
The episode ended up getting removed last week after Saudi Arabia's Communications and Information Technology Commission reached out to Netflix and asked for its removal. The reason was due to it apparently violating local anti-cybercrime law. Netflix complied and released a statement to the Hollywood Reporter saying "we strongly support artistic freedom and removed this episode only in Saudi Arabia after we received a valid legal request — and to comply with local law."
While the episode may be gone on Saudia Arabian Netflix, it's still available on YouTube for locals to watch. Thankfully, Canadians won't have to go the extra mile to see the controversial episode for themselves as it is still available on Netflix Canada. Meaning you can see the episode for yourself and be the judge on whether Saudi Arabia was right to go after Netflix, or if Netflix is taking the easy way out.
Source: CBC News