Saudi Arabia Bans NETFLIX Programs Championing LGBTQ
Saudi Arabia state-run Al Ekhbariya news channel on Tuesday condemned Netflix for "promoting sexual deviance" to children, in an apparent reference to homosexuality.
In a statement issued on Tuesday by Saudi government, on behalf of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, the bloc has asked Netflix to take down programming that violates Islamic values, including some content directed at children.
The United Arab Emirates, which issued its own statement, said that Netflix violated local regulations and "contradicts the country's societal value." They affirmed that media watchdog would be monitoring Netflix's content "from now on" and will take action if local laws are flouted.
With the emergence of streaming platforms, governments across the world, are almost unable to regulate content that has often caused controversy for breaking social taboos.
Evidently, Gulf states have increased the policing of LGBTQ-related displays of late. Several global brands have been targets of boycott campaigns on social media for publicly supporting gay rights.
In June, Kuwait's foreign ministry summoned a US diplomat stationed there over tweets "supporting homosexuality". The UAE, on the other hand, which is home to a large number of expatriates and one of the most liberal of the Gulf states, was among the countries that banned Disney movie "Lightyear" in June.
According to a report by the New York Time, Amazon was also pressured to restrict items and search results related to LGBTQ people.
Alarmingly, it seems that the campaign to promote LGBTQ content is rife and bullying its way to the creative industry.
Here in Kenya, the Kenya Film Classification Board has tried on numerous occasions to censor and ban content that is thought to promote immorality.
Recently, during an interview with CNN’s Amanpour, the president-elect Dr. William Ruto, maintained that Kenya has more important matters to worry about, and that homosexuality is not one of them. He firmly maintained that the country will maintain its cultural values and would not be influenced by any propagators of the vice.
African states might be second in censoring such content, if maintaining their social and cultural values is anything to go by.