Neflix Pulls Patriot Act Episode Critical of Saudi Arabia After Government Complaint


Netflix is facing criticism after the streaming giant blocked an episode of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj at the demands of the Saudi Arabian government. The episode criticizes Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, urged the U.S. to reconsider its longstanding support of the country, and called out Saudi Arabia for the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Netflix removed the episode from its service in Saudi Arabia last week after receiving a takedown request from the Saudi government's Communications and Information Technology Commission. The request cited Saudi Arabia's anti-cybercrime laws, which prohibit the "production, preparation, transmission or storage of material impinging on public order, religious values, public morals and privacy" on the internet. In a statement to NPR, a Netflix spokesperson said, "We strongly support artistic freedom and removed this episode only in Saudi Arabia after we had received a valid legal request--and to comply with local law."