Netflix reportedly blocked an episode of “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj,” a show that was critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, from streaming in Saudi Arabia after the kingdom requested that it be taken down.
Continue Reading Below
The company received a complaint from Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission, which alleged that the company violated the country’s cybercrime laws, according to The Financial Times, which first reported the news.
In the episode, the host comedian Hasan Minhaj blasted the Saudi government for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the crown prince, and urged the U.S. to re-evaluate its relationship with the kingdom.
“Now would be a good time to reassess our relationship with Saudi Arabia,” Minhaj said. “And I mean that as a Muslim and an American.”
The law that was cited by the Saudi government bans “production, preparation, transmission, or storage of material impinging on public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy, through the information network or computers,” according to the Financial Times. It has been criticized by activists who say it’s used to silence free speech.
Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but defended its decision to pull the episode in a statement to the Times.
“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,” the company said.