A Netflix Christmas special launched in Brazil in early December, that has sparked furious criticism and even protests, has been blocked by a court in that county.
Previously, those offended by Jesus Christ being depicted as a gay man asked the government to ban the special, and collected millions of signatures to support a petition calling for this outcome.
And although “The First Temptation of Christ” is a comedy special, Brazilian Judge Benedicto Abicair wasn’t amused. He ordered Netflix to remove this content from its service, saying that “the right to freedom of expression is not absolute” – and that showing this type of artistic expression might cause more damage than will be done by removing it.
The special is produced by Viacom-owned Porta dos Fundos, who previously said that Netflix didn’t hint it was ready to remove the content, and praised the streaming giant for supporting freedom of speech.
In the wake of the protests – that included a Molotov cocktail being thrown on its offices – the production company accused critics of being homophobes rather than having their religious sentiments offended by the depiction of Jesus as gay.
After the court ruled to remove “The First Temptation of Christ,” neither Porta dos Fundos nor Netflix were in any mood to make comments, according to the AP.
The production company’ previous forays into comedy at the expense of Christians happened last year, and won it an International Emmy. That special was called “The Last Hangover” and had Thomas “contributing hard drugs and prostitutes.”
But now, Judge Abicair said the decision to block the special would benefit not only Christians in Brazil, but also the entire society. In any case, the ruling is binding and it would take another court to decide otherwise and allow Netflix to continue showing this content.