Persian Gulf states demand Netflix remove ‘immoral content’

The statements did not specify what content was offending, but the Saudi state news channel Al Ekhbariya published segments on Tuesday condemning the streaming service for “promoting sexual deviance” among children, in an apparent reference to homosexuality.

Gulf states have said their complaint with the streaming service has to do with content that violates social norms, but Saudi Arabia in the past has also required the removal of politically sensitive content. In 2019, Netflix pleased the kingdom by removing an episode of “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” that made fun of the kingdom.
Netflix at the time defended its decision as a response to a “valid legal request”, adding that it nonetheless “strongly supports artistic freedom”, according to the Financial Times. Netflix did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Censorship was not uncommon in Arab countries when state channels dominated television viewing. However, the advent of television broadcasting eroded the ability of governments to control content and heralded an era of Arab television production beyond the reach of censors that has often caused controversy for breaking social taboos.

According to Joseph Fahim, an Egyptian film critic, the effect of streaming services in the Middle East was similar to that of satellite television several decades ago, when audiences moved away from terrestrial channels showing government-approved content. “There was a lot more freedom in this content,” he told CNN.

Other global media companies have been less receptive to calls from Gulf states to restrict content that doesn’t fit their social norms. American movie studios that previously complied with Arab censors’ requests for cuts of their films have recently refused to do so, leading to those films being banned in Arab countries.

Disney reportedly refused to cut LGBTQ scenes more than once this year, but its streaming service, Disney+, told the Hollywood Reporter that the content would “align with local regulatory requirements.”
The Gulf states have recently increased surveillance of LGBTQ-related exhibits. Several global brands that publicly supported gay rights during Gay Pride Month in June were targeted by boycott campaigns on social media. In June, the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry summoned a US diplomat stationed there over tweets that “supported homosexuality.”
The United Arab Emirates, home to a large number of expats and one of the most liberal states in the Gulf, was among the countries that banned the Disney movie “Lightyear” in June. The New York Times later reported that Amazon was pressured to restrict LGBTQ-related articles and search results.

Netflix operates in an increasingly crowded market for streaming services in the Middle East. Its rivals include Disney+, which launched regionally in June, as well as regional services like OSN+, Shahid and Starz Play.

Fahim suggested that the competition may also be a motivation to turn up the heat on Netflix. He sends the message “that if you want to make a decent, acceptable, widely shared experience, you have to go to regional streamers,” he told CNN. “It’s almost as if this statement is waging war against Netflix.”

The Middle East streaming market, while relatively small for Netflix, is on a growth trend. Digital TV Research forecasts that paying subscribers to streaming services in the region will more than double to 21.5 million between 2021 and 2027, with Netflix leading the market.

the summary

Turkey’s Erdogan Says West’s ‘Provocative’ Policies Towards Russia Wrong

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that he did not believe the West’s “provocative” policies toward Russia were correct after the European Union proposed a cap on the price of Russian gas, Reuters reported.

  • Why it matters: The war in Ukraine has left Turkey juggling ties between NATO allies and neighboring Russia. Turkey did not impose sanctions on Russia, but called for an end to the war and sold drones to Ukraine.

OPEC agrees to cut production after falling oil prices

OPEC said on Monday it would cut oil output next month by 100,000 barrels per day, the cartel’s first output cut since the start of the covid-19 pandemic, as it braces for a global economic slowdown that will hit demand. .
  • Background: Just a month ago, OPEC and allied oil exporters agreed to increase production in September by the same small amount (equivalent to about 0.1% of world demand) after coming under intense pressure from the United States and other big oil consumers to do more to reduce energy prices and inflation. In August, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told Bloomberg News that recent “volatility” in the oil market could force OPEC+ to cut production.
  • Why it matters: A drop of more than 20% in global oil prices since early June has made producers focus on the risk that a sharp economic slowdown in China, the US and Europe will undermine demand for their crude. Analysts are calling the oil cut “symbolic,” with one expert saying the alliance is “sending a signal to the market that OPEC+ is serious about cuts.”

One Palestinian Killed, 16 Others Injured by Israeli Troops in Jenin Demolition Operation

One Palestinian man was killed and 16 others wounded in an Israeli military operation in the West Bank city of Jenin, the Palestinian Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

  • Background: The Israel Defense Forces were in Jenin “to demolish the residence of the terrorist who killed three people in a deadly shooting in Tel Aviv on the night of April 7, 2022,” the IDF said in a statement, adding that ” a violent riot was instigated” during the operation. “The rioters burned tires, threw stones, Molotov cocktails and explosive devices at the forces, who responded with riot dispersal means,” the IDF said. The 16 injured Palestinians suffered gunshot and shrapnel injuries, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, and all were taken to Jenin hospital. The ministry identified the dead man as Mohammad Sabaaneh, 29.
  • Why it matters: The clashes took place in the same West Bank city where Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed during an IDF raid in May. The IDF admitted for the first time on Monday that there was a “high possibility” that its troops fired the fatal shot. A senior IDF official said the soldier thought she was shooting at Palestinian militants, even though Abu Akleh was wearing a bulletproof vest marked Press, and that the soldier “was sorry.” Israel’s military prosecutor said he would not file criminal charges against the soldier, who was not identified.

around the region

Istanbul residents expressed their outrage on social media amid rumors that the government had quietly demolished one of the ancient city’s historic icons.

See also  Plot, release date and everything you need to know

The Maiden’s Tower, known as the pearl of the Bosphorus, has been closed and covered with tarpaulins for a year due to restoration work.

The controversy began when a video posted on Twitter he suggested that the tower had been demolished. In the video, boats can be seen passing behind the tower through holes in the tarps, giving the impression that no structure exists at the site of the tower.

Turkey’s Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums responded by saying that the concrete components and the conical part of the building that were added after a fire in 1940 had been removed “by adhering to the principles of universal protection” to increase its resistance to damage. earthquakes.

Also shared a render of what the tower might look like when the restoration is complete in 2023, more than a year later than initially planned. Once the restoration is complete, the building that housed a restaurant until recently will serve as a museum, he said.

There are many legends about the origins of the tower. The best known is about the Byzantine Emperor Konstantinus, who, being warned by a fortune teller that his daughter would die from a snake bite, had the tower built on the Bosphorus and locked there for protection. Legend has it that a snake hidden in one of the fruit baskets that the emperor sent to his daughter finally took his life.

By Isil Sariyuce

Time capsule

A member of the Olympic committee (right) talks to one of the Palestinian militants in the Munich Olympic Village in 1972.

This week marks 50 years since Palestinian militants from the Black September group took members of the Israeli Olympic team hostage during the 1972 Munich Games in an attack that became known as the Munich massacre.

Eight armed men stormed the West German city’s Olympic village and took Israeli team members hostage in their apartment. A coach and an athlete were killed in the opening moments of the attack. Nine were taken hostage.

The group made the release of the hostages conditional on the release of more than 200 prisoners in Israeli and West German jails. Israel’s prime minister at the time refused. In a failed rescue attempt by the West German police, the militants killed all the Israeli hostages. Five of the militants were also killed by the police. Three were later captured.

In the days that followed, Israel retaliated by launching airstrikes in Syria and Lebanon against bases of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was linked to Black September. Israel is said to have killed around 200 people in the operation, including dozens of militants, but also innocent civilians and children.

The following month, Palestinian militants hijacked a German plane and demanded the release of the three surviving terrorists. Germany complied and they were released.

Spending on security was 50 times higher in subsequent games in 1976 in Montreal, Canada. Israel launched Operation Wrath of God with the aim of assassinating those involved in the Munich massacre. The operation lasted around 20 years and supposedly led to the death of two of the three surviving terrorists. It was the subject of an Oscar-nominated 2005 film directed by Steven Spielberg.

This week, Germany’s president formally apologized for failing to keep Israeli hostages safe. Last month, the families of Israeli athletes reached an agreement with Germany on greater compensation and accountability for the attacks.

By Mohammed Abdelbary

Leave a Comment