Gulf Arab countries threaten Netflix with legal action over content’ that ‘violates Islamic values’

Netflix has been asked to remove “offensive content” by Gulf Arab countries in an apparent targeting of programmes involving people who are gay and lesbian, claiming they “contradict Islamic and societal values and principles”.

The streaming service was warned if it continued to broadcast the content then “necessary legal measures will be taken”.

A joint statement, issued on behalf of a committee of the Gulf Cooperation Council, did not specify the content, but mentioned it included programmes aimed at children.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also published the statement through their respective governments.

They, along with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, make up the six-nation council.

The UAE added it would follow up on what the platform broadcasts in coming days and “assess its commitment to broadcasting controls” in the country.

Saudi state television also aired video of an interview it conducted with a woman identified as a “behavioural consultant” who described Netflix as being an “official sponsor of homosexuality”.

It aired footage at the same time of a cartoon, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, in which two women kissed – although the footage was blurred out.

Saudi state television also aired a segment suggesting Netflix could be banned in the kingdom over that programming reaching children.

The UAE and other Muslim states earlier this year banned Walt Disney-Pixar’s animated feature film Lightyear from screening in cinemas because it features characters in a same-sex relationship.

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Many Muslims consider gays and lesbians to be sinful. In some parts of the Arab world, members of the LGBTQ community have been arrested and sentenced to prison.

Some countries even maintain the death penalty.

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