Latest in Entertainment

Image credit: Netflix

Netflix pulls Hasan Minhaj episode critical of Saudi Arabia government

The country claimed 'Patriot Act' violated cybercrime law.
1283 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Netflix

Netflix rarely finds itself thrust into political debates like other internet giants, but it won't enjoy that luxury in 2019. The streaming service has pulled the second episode of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj in Saudi Arabia after the country alleged that it violated a cybercrime law barring content that threatens "public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy." The episode is critical of the Saudi government's apparent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as well as the war in Yemen, and suggests that both tech companies and the US as a whole should "reassess" their connection to the kingdom.

In a statement to the Financial Times, Netflix stressed that it believed in "artistic freedom" and that it only pulled the episode after receiving a "valid legal request." The episode is still available in other countries, and Saudi Arabian residents can watch the episode on YouTube as we write this.

It's not clear how often Netflix has pulled shows over legal objections, since it doesn't publish transparency reports like some tech firms. This is certainly a high-profile example, though, and it shows that Netflix is in the same boat as many of its internet peers. While it can argue for freedom of expression, it's ultimately at the mercy of local laws if it wants to do business in a given country. There's not much else it can do short of withdrawing from Saudi Arabia entirely.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
1283 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Spotify may be in talks to buy culture outlet The Ringer

Spotify may be in talks to buy culture outlet The Ringer

View
Boeing finds another software flaw that might delay 737 Max's return

Boeing finds another software flaw that might delay 737 Max's return

View
Law enforcement is using a facial recognition app with huge privacy issues

Law enforcement is using a facial recognition app with huge privacy issues

View
Microsoft will fix an Internet Explorer security flaw under active attack

Microsoft will fix an Internet Explorer security flaw under active attack

View
Hitting the Books: Hackers can convince your IoT devices to betray you

Hitting the Books: Hackers can convince your IoT devices to betray you

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr