A Brazilian court has ordered Netflix, an American streaming service, to take down ‘The First Temptation of Christ’ — its controversial Christmas special depicting Jesus Christ as “gay”.
In his ruling, Benedicto Abicair, the judge, held that the movie failed to take into consideration the fact that “the right to freedom of expression… is not absolute”.
He, however, stated that the temporary ban was to simmer the controversies the film has stirred among Christians until a final decision is made by a higher court.
“Exhibiting the ‘artistic production’… may cause graver and more irreparable damage than its suspension,” the judge said in Rio de Janeiro.
The 45-minutes special, produced by Porta dos Fundos, a Brazil-based YouTube comedy group, has left several controversies in its trail, since it was released on Christmas eve.
Fábio Porchat, one of the main actors in the movie, had earlier stated that the movie was not meant to incite violence or discourage people from serving God — few days before their headquarters suffered a petrol bomb attack.
“It doesn’t incite violence, we’re not saying people shouldn’t believe in God,” he had said.
But the explanation did little to address the dusts generated by the movie, with many calling for its ban.
Johnson Suleman, general overseer of Omega Fire Ministries, had charged Christians to unsubscribe and delete their accounts on Netflix, while more than 2 million people have signed a petition, which calls for the special to be prohibited and pulled down from the streaming service.
This also comes few days after Jordan, a predominantly Muslim country, called for the ban on ‘Messiah,’ an American thriller web television series, saying it “could be largely perceived or interpreted as infringing on the sanctity of religion”.