Brazil Orders Netflix To Remove Gay Jesus Film
Netflix has been ordered to withdraw a comedy film which depicts Jesus as gay.
A judge in Brazil on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction forcing Netflix to remove “The First Temptation of Christ” a 46-minute comedy that depicts Jesus Christ in a homosexual relationship.
The film which was created by the Brazilian production company Porta dos Fundos, came out on December 3 and has been a subject of strong criticism from conservative politicians in the mainly Catholic country, the church itself and from evangelicals. The film prompted widespread anger in Brazil with over two million people signing a petition calling on the streaming service to remove the show.
Fábio Porchat one of the creators of the film reacted to the backlash against the film. He stated in a December interview that it was homophobic to be offended by the film.
“For some Catholics here in Brazil, it’s O.K. if Jesus is a bad guy, uses drugs: That’s no problem. The problem is he’s gay. No, he can’t be gay. And that’s interesting because Jesus is everything. God is black and white and gay and straight. God is everything.
“It’s more homophobic to be insulted by a gay Jesus than to make Jesus special.”
On Christmas Eve, two petrol bombs were thrown at the Rio de Janeiro headquarters of Porta dos Fundos. A representative for the group told Brazilian news portal UOL that the Molotov cocktail attack resulted in a fire, which was put out by one of the office’s security guards and that no one was hurt, “even though the incident put several innocent lives at risk”.
Judge Benedicto Abicair on Wednesday said he was ordering the film removed for now so as to calm tempers until courts can consider the broader merits of a suit against the film which was filed by a Catholic association, the Don Bosco Center for Faith and Culture.
“The right to freedom of expression… is not absolute,” the judge said.
Netflix and the production company said they had not yet received the judge’s order. Abicair’s ruling can be appealed.
Porta dos Fundos won an Intl. Emmy for its prior Jesus-themed 2018 Christmas Special, “The Last Hangover,” in which his disciples wake up after a Last Supper blow-out, where Thomas contributes hard drugs and prostitutes, to discover Jesus is nowhere to be seen.
Brazil is home to the world’s largest Catholic community as well as a fast-expanding evangelical community with increasing political influence.