Netflix comedy special featuring gay Jesus draws controversy
Netflix has provoked the wrath of God.
The First Temptation of Christ, a Netflix Christmas comedy special portraying a gay Jesus, has sparked controversy, with many viewers arguing the special is offensive to Christians. Created by Brazilian YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos, First Temptation depicts Jesus returning home for his 30th birthday with his flamboyant male “friend” Orlando, heavily implying a relationship between the two. (Sample lyrics from a song Orlando sings: “In the heat of the desert I saw the size of his huge… power.”) The special also includes a scene of the Virgin Mary smoking weed.
More than 1.8 million people have signed an online petition calling for Netflix to pull the special and for Porta dos Fundos to apologize. “In favor of the removal of the film from the NETFLIX catalog and for the ‘Porta dos Fundos’ to be held responsible for the crime of villainous faith,” the petition reads. “We also want public retraction, as they have seriously offended Christians.”
Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro, wrote on Twitter, “Porta dos Fundos has no intention of making humor or improving society. It is just disrespecting the faith of others, dividing society. It is a pity that anyone, in the absence of talent, needs to appeal for some attention.”
“Christians and non-Christians have asked me to act against the irresponsible Porta dos Fundos,” wrote Marco Feliciano, a Brazilian pastor and congressman. “In previous years I have sued them, but ‘Justice’ says it is freedom of expression. It is time for joint action by the churches and good people to stop it.”
Porta dos Fundos (which translates to “Back Door” in English) launched a YouTube channel in 2012, and has been producing comedy videos, including religious satires, for several years. Indeed, the group created another Christmas special skewering Christianity, The Last Hangover, which Netflix released in 2018. In November, that special won an International Emmy Award for Best Comedy.
“Porta dos Fundos values artistic freedom and humor through satire on the most diverse cultural themes of our society and believes that freedom of expression is an essential construction for a democratic country,” the group said in a statement. Netflix had no comment.
For the moment, The First Temptation of Christ remains available to stream on Netflix.