Netflix ensured Tuesday that it takes away an episode of a sarcastic comedy show that condemns Saudi Arabia after officials reportedly complained in the kingdom. The step generates questions about the limitation of free online expression.
In the episode of “ Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj”, the American-born Muslim thrashed Saudi Arabia after the brutal assassination of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
He particularly condemned Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and was also crucial of the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.
Netflix representative said in a statement, “ We strongly support artistic freedom worldwide and removed this episode only in Saudi Arabia after we had received a valid legal request — and to comply with local law.”
British media said the action of Netflix came after the Communications and Information Technology Commission said the episode breached the cybercrime law. In December, the US Senate sanctioned two strategic resolutions accusing Prince Mohammed of the killing of Khashoggi, after intelligence reports spiked in that direction, and pleading an end to US association in the Yemen War.
Khashoggi’s editor, Karen Attiah stated at The Washington Post that the action of Netflix was “ quite outrageous”.
The Information Ministry of Saudi did not respond to requests for comment urgently.
The episode can still have been seen in other parts of the world – and in Saudi Arabia on YouTube.
The tech companies and online platforms confront boosting scrutiny and developing public infidelity in the face of disputes about data sharing and the consistent diminishing of privacy.