RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Netflix said Thursday that it had filed a complaint in Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court, a day after a judge ordered the withdrawal from the platform of a satirical film depicting Jesus as a gay man.
“We strongly support artistic expression and we’ll be fighting to defend this important principle, which goes to the heart of great storytelling,” Netflix said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the film remains available on the platform.
On Wednesday, Rio de Janeiro judge Benedicto Abicair ruled against the film following a petition by a Brazilian Catholic organization that argued the “honor of millions of Catholics” was hurt by the airing of “The First Temptation of Christ.” The special was produced by the Rio-based comedy group Porta dos Fundos, whose headquarters was targeted in a gasoline bomb attack on Christmas Eve.
The ruling came at a time when some civil society groups say Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is cutting funding for arts projects that challenge “Christian values” and inveighing against flamboyant carnival celebrations.
Porta Dos Fundos said in a statement that it is “against any act of censorship, violence, illegality, authoritarianism and all the things we no longer expected to have to repudiate in 2020. Our job is to make humor.”
In the Christmas Eve attack, several men threw gasoline bombs at the entrance of the headquarters of Porta dos Fundos. No one was injured.
One suspect, Eduardo Fauzi, celebrated the judge’s decision in a video shared by Brazilian newspaper O Globo. “Congratulations to the Brazilian judiciary system, congratulations to the Brazilian people,” Fauzi said from Russia, where he fled to after the attack.
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