Fans are in uproar after Netflix removed an episode of a comedy show following a complaint from Saudi Arabia’s rulers.
Patriot Act saw comedian Hasan Minhaj question Saudi Arabia’s rulers over their explanation of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi wrote for The Washington Post newspaper, and frequently criticised the kingdom’s rulers.
An official complaint accused Netflix of violating Saudi anti-cybercrime laws.
Khashoggi was killed in October. Saudi Arabia has charged 11 people with his murder, but has denied that crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman was involved. However, the CIA concluded that Salman was indeed implicated.
Netflix said that it supports artistic freedom, but that it must obey local laws in all regions in which it operates.
“We strongly support artistic freedom worldwide and only removed this episode in Saudi Arabia after we had received a valid legal request – and to comply with local law,” it said in a statement.
Karen Attiah, Khashoggi’s editor at the Post, joined fans in slamming the decision as “outrageous”.
Despite the episode being removed, anyone in Saudi Arabia can still watch it on Netflix’s YouTube channel.