Netflix ordered to remove gay Jesus comedy special by judge in Brazil
Legal action has been taken against Netflix’s The First Temptation of Christ, the Brazilian Christmas comedy special that many in the country called blasphemous for depicting Jesus as gay.
A Brazilian judge ordered Netflix on Wednesday to stop streaming the special on its digital platform, according to the Associated Press. The ruling seemingly did not come as a response to the gasoline bomb attack at the headquarters of Porta dos Fundos, the comedy troupe that created the special. Judge Benedicto Abicair specifically responded to a petition, which currently has 2.4 million signatures, calling for the show’s removal.
Abicair said its removal “is beneficial not only to the Christian community, but to Brazilian society, which is mostly Christian.” Reps for Netflix declined to comment. The ruling is valid until ordered otherwise by a higher court.
The First Temptation of Christ, which premiered on Netflix on Dec. 3 and is still live on Netflix as of this time, told a comedic story about Jesus’s return home from the desert for his 30th birthday. Mary and Joseph were waiting up to surprise him with a party, so instead of sneaking in unseen, Jesus is forced to introduce them to his flamboyant male “friend.”
On Christmas Eve, reps for Porta dos Fundos reported their headquarters were hit by Molotov cocktails, though no one was injured. A video had been posted online that saw three men perpetrating the attack and crediting the Command of Popular National Insurgence, a 1930s-era ultranationalist group.
Per the AP, Abicair’s ruling comes as civil rights groups in Brazil say President Jair Bolsonaro is waging a “cultural war” by attacking funding for arts projects that are viewed as challenging “Christian values.”
A previous statement from the comedy troupe reads, “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.”