Melon Farmers Original Version

Netflix Censorship


Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes


 

Offsite Article: Disrespectful to filmmakers...


Link Here5th October 2021
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
Shoddy Netflix subtitling diminishes Korean action drama

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

 

If I Had Known...

Netflix refuses to bow to Turkish censorship and moves production to Spain


Link Here22nd April 2021
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
Last year Turkey refused permission to film a locally adapted version of the Netflix series If Only. The licence was refused after discovering that one of the lead characters was gay.

Netflix decided not to write out the gay character and have now decided to film the series in Spain. The adaptation will now be titled Si lo hubiera sabido (If I Had Known), and will be scripted by Irma Correa with Yörenç acting as consultant.

Starring HBO series 30 coins actress Megan Montaner, If I Had Known will tell the story of Emma, who is entering her thirties with the feeling that life has become dull after 10 years of marriage. A supernatural twist allows her to inhabit her younger body and, ironically, rewrite the script.

Yörenç told Variety magazine:

Turkey's Ministry of Culture has the power to cancel a series depending on the image it gives of the country. Although it hadn't used this power before, it applied it to my series though it didn't give any explicit reason. But we know that it's because the series has a gay character. They hoped we'd change the screenplay, adapting to the moral norms they expected. But I, along with Netflix didn't agree to making any change to the original screenplay and we finally decided to cancel the series. But I really want now to focus on the project, which is very exciting. I want to forget the past.

 

 

'Go fund yourself'...

Indian Netflix rolls back its censorship of a crude joke in South Park


Link Here1st March 2021
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
An episode of the animated comedy series South Park was previously censored on Netflix in India (and nowhere else). A crude drawing of male genitalia and breasts was blurred out from a scene in Go Fund Yourself , the first episode of the show's eighteenth season.

Netflix removed the censorship after MediaNama asked the company about it. As is often the case with internet companies, when they are embarrassed by caught with their hands in the censorship cookie jar, they respond by claiming it was all some sort of a ghastly mistake.

And again in this case, Netflix claimed it was an incorrect version and replaced it with the uncensored version.

Interestingly the censorship incident has revealed that it may be possible to work around local censorship by selecting a different interface language. It was reported that the blurring wasn't present for users in India that selected French language.

The censored episode lampoons the Washington Redskins, an American football team that recently changed its name to Washington Football Team following renewed outrage over its name, which was criticized for using an offensive slur referring to Native Americans. In one scene from the episode, which was aired in 2014, a character responds to calls to change the team's logo by simply adding a drawing of male genitalia and breasts to the imagery.

 

 

Commented: Netflix are using BBFC approved ratings for all films and TV series...

Let's hope that the BBFC provides Netflix with a better database of ratings than the one on the BBFC website


Link Here2nd December 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes

Netflix is the first streaming service in the UK to carry a BBFC age rating on all TV seasons and feature films on the service, helping families choose content with confidence.

The innovative partnership between a streaming service and the regulator, an industry first, has now reached the joint goal of 100% coverage of BBFC age ratings on the platform. This milestone has been welcomed by Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Digital and Culture.

Netflix applies BBFC Guidelines standards to content, with the BBFC setting those standards and auditing ratings to ensure consistency. Netflix have now populated their entire catalogue of original and acquired content with BBFC age ratings, giving families in the UK trusted age rating guidance and advice.

Families can now choose content safe in the knowledge that everything they press play on is rated to trusted, high BBFC standards. Netflix's parental controls are also powered by BBFC data. Netflix has also improved its parental controls based on BBFC data and member feedback. Parents can now:

  • pin protect individual profiles to prevent kids using them;

  • tailor their kids Netflix experience by filtering out titles that are not appropriate for their age based on BBFC ratings;

  • remove individual series or films by title. When this filter is used, the blocked title(s) won't show up anywhere in that profile.

  • easily review each profile's setting using the "Profile and Parental Controls" hub within account settings;

  • see what their kids have been watching within the profile created for them; and

  • turn off auto play of episodes in kids profiles.

Comment: Old cuts on Netflix

2nd December 2020. Thanks to Tim

It is an interesting article about Netflix using BBFC ratings, particularly as they have previously shown films without BBFC ratings and with compulsory BBFC cuts reinstated. For example they showed The Mountain Men (1980) including the compulsory horse fall cuts and Walking Tall (1973) with the BBFC video cuts for violence reinstated even though the BBFC have never waived those for DVD.

Presumably Netflix can now override BBFC ratings and award their own. Perhaps there is an agreement to consult with the BBFC over the more controversial cuts.

It would be interesting to note if Netflix are expected to follow the BBFC's pedantic rules on horse trips and the like. Nominally UK law requirements only apply to cinema films and could legally be quietly forgotten about for online video.

 

 

Updated: Less Cuties...

Turkey's TV censor says it will block the movie Cuties from showing on the local Netflix service


Link Here10th September 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
Cuties ( Mignonnes) is a 2020 France comedy drama by Maïmouna Doucouré.
Starring Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi-Azouni and Esther Gohourou. BBFC link IMDb

Amy, an 11-year-old girl, joins a group of dancers named "the cuties" at school, and rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity - upsetting her mother and her values in the process.

The Turkish government has said it will order Netflix to block local access to the movie Cuties. The country's TV censor claims the film contains images of child exploitation. Turkey's Family Ministry had previously said the film may cause children to be open to negligence and abuse, and negatively impact their psychosocial development.

Cuties is due to launch in the country on September 9. The movie was at the center of a furor last month when Netflix launched the film's international poster, which was widely criticized for sexualizing children. Netflix quickly apologized and removed the offending artwork, but not before the film was lynched on social media.

Update: BBFC rated

10th September 2020.

The Netflix UK release has been BBFC 15 rated uncut for rude humour, threat, dangerous behaviour, bullying, violence.

Update: New Zealand rating

20th September 2020. See article from classificationoffice.govt.nz

The New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification recommended Netflix make Cuties 16+ with a warning note: Violence, sexual references, bullying and offensive language.

 

Update: Questions in the Egyptian House

24th September 2020. See article from al-monitor.com

Egyptian member of parliament John Talaat submitted Sept. 5 a parliamentary question to Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem in regard to the role of the Censorship of Works of Art (CACWA) in the content broadcast on Netflix.

Some of these works carry transgressions and abuses that the Egyptian society does not accept, and the censorship standards must be strictly applied to any artwork that is allowed to be broadcast in Egypt, Talaat said in a Sept. 5 statement.

In an Aug. 25 article in Al-Masry Al-Youm , journalist Suleiman Joudeh called on the Ministry of Culture and official bodies to review the works broadcast on Netflix .

Netflix's works have sparked controversy time and again, the latest of which was the film Cuties that topped Egypt's Google search list on Sept. 13, after it arrived at the platform and was criticized for depicting children in a sexual and inappropriate way.

 

 

Cuties...

Netflix apologises for a movie poster highlighting the dangers of sexualisation of youngsters


Link Here21st August 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
Cuties (Mignonnes) is a 2020 France comedy drama by Maïmouna Doucouré.
Starring Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi-Azouni and Esther Gohourou. IMDb

Amy, an 11-year-old girl, joins a group of dancers named "the cuties" at school, and rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity - upsetting her mother and her values in the process.

Netflix has removed a promotional image which showed girls posing in skimpy outfits in a new film called Cuties. The poster for the French drama, along with a trailer, were received from a little online 'outrage' and a petition calling for Netflix to drop it. A petition claiming it sexualizes an 11-year-old for the viewing pleasure of paedophiles attracted 25,000 signatures.

The film itself is not a Netflix production, just a film that was set to be shown on the service. The award-winning drama follows an 11-year-old who joins a dance group. Its maker says it is meant to tackle the issue of sexualisation of young girls.

Netflix has now said it was deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork. Netflix told BBC News:

This was not an accurate representation of the film so the image and description has been updated.

The company later tweeted:

We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance. We've now updated the pictures and description.

But director Maimouna Doucoure has explained that the story aims to highlight how social media pushes girls to mimic sexualised imagery without fully understanding what lies behind it or the dangers involved.

 

 

Dark times...

Netflix censors It's Always Sunny In Phildelphia over blackface joke


Link Here19th June 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
Netflix has removed an episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia over jokes featuring blackface. The ninth episode of the sixth season, titled Dee Reynolds: Shaping America's Youth, is no longer available on the streaming service.

The episode, which sees characters Mac and Dee both wear blackface, was taken down on June 11.

 

 

Socially sustainable censorship...

Netflix lists movies that it has banned in countries at the request of their governments


Link Here 8th February 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
Netflix has reported on the moves and TV shows that it has banned at the request of governments. Netflix writes:

We offer creators the ability to reach audiences all around the world. However, our catalog varies from country to country, including for rights reasons (i.e., we don't have the rights to show everything in every country where we operate). In some cases we've also been forced to remove specific titles or episodes of titles in specific countries due to government takedown demands.

Below are the titles we've removed to date, as of February 2020 -- just nine in total since we launched. Beginning next year, we will report these takedowns annually.

  • In 2015, Netflix complied with the New Zealand Film and Video Labeling Body to remove The Bridge . The film is classified as "objectionable" in the country.
  • In 2017, Netflix complied with Vietnamese Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI) to remove Full Metal Jacket.
  • In 2017, Netflix complied with the German Commission for Youth Protection (KJM) to remove Night of the Living Dead . A version of the film is also banned in the country. There's a discussion of exactly which version is banned in a German language article from schnittberichte.com
  • In 2018, Netflix complied with the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to remove Cooking on High (TV series about cooking with cannabis) , The Legend of 420 (a comedy documentary about cannabis) , and Disjointed (TV series about cannabis) from the service in Singapore only.
  • In 2019, Netflix complied with the Saudi Communication and Information Technology Commission to remove one episode -- "Saudi Arabia" -- from Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (comedy TV news, talk show) .
  • In 2019, Netflix complied with the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to remove The Last Temptation of Christ.
  • In 2020, Netflix complied with the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to remove The Last Hangover . This is the Brazilian TV comedy about a gay Christ that proved controversial in Brazil.

 

 

Updated: Not a prayer's chance of forgiving them their trespasses then...

Brazilian judge orders injunction to ban gay Jesus comedy on Netflix but this has now been overturned


Link Here10th January 2020
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
The First Temptation of Christ (A Primeira Tentação de Cristo) is a 2019 Brazil comedy short film by Rodrigo Van Der Put.
Starring Evelyn Castro, Gregório Duvivier and Fábio Porchat. IMDb

Jesus, who's hitting the big 3-0, brings a surprise guest to meet the family.

A judge in Brazil has ruled that a film depicting Jesus as gay must be removed from the TV streaming service Netflix.

The film, The First Temptation of Christ, infuriated some Christians in the country.Two million people signed a petition calling for it to be banned, and the production company was attacked with Molotov cocktails last month.

In the ruling against Netflix, the judge said: The right to freedom of expression... is not absolute.

The ban is a temporary injunction whilst a final decision is made by a higher court.

Update: Injunction overturned

10th January 2020. See article from bbc.com

Brazil's Supreme Court has overturned a ruling that TV streaming service Netflix must remove a film depicting Jesus as gay.

The film, The First Temptation of Christ, infuriated fervent Christians in the country. But Supreme Court president Dias Toffoli said on Thursday that Netflix should be allowed to continue streaming the show, stating that freedom of speech was fundamental in a democracy. The judge said:

One cannot suppose that a humorous satire has the ability to weaken the values of the Christian faith, whose existence is traced back more than two thousand years, and which is the belief of the majority of Brazilian citizens.

 

 

Offsite Article: Netflix expands into a world full of censors, particularly in Turkey...


Link Here1st November 2019
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
The company is having to navigate different political and moral landscapes, and calls for government oversight, as it seeks subscribers worldwide.

See article from nytimes.com

 

 

Updated: Netflix Goes Worldwide...

But don't throw your VPN away yet as censors and pixelators will surely soon get their evil way


Link Here27th January 2016
Full story: Netflix Censorship...Streaming TV to a variety of censorship regimes
Netflix has surprised the tech community, and perhaps some of the world, when it announced at a CES, a US technology show, that its streaming service is now available everywhere in the world except for China, North Korea, Crimea, and Syria.

And altering its original content to some of the more censorial of the new territories is something Netflix may have to confront. So far, however, Netflix hasn't censored any of its content, Anne Marie Squeo, a Netflix spokesperson, told Tech Insider:

We're an on-demand service that allows people to choose to sign up and decide what, where and when to watch, Squeo wrote in an email to Tech Insider. The service includes ratings guides and episode synopses to help people decide, and we also provide a PIN-code system to ensure children can't view certain content.

But Reed Hastings, the company's CEO, hasn't ruled out censoring its programming in the future. The Verge's Ross Miller asked Hastings about the company's policy with regard to such censorship, and he didn't exactly give a straight answer:

As to your question about... different versions like airplane cuts, we'll have to see and we'll have to learn, Hastings said, according to The Verge . I think entertainment companies have to make compromises over time... the thrust of what we're trying to do is have the artistic vision be consistent through the world.

The Bangkok Post outlines some of the issues about localised censorship requirements where the standard definition package costs 280 Baht ( £ 5.30) a month for 1 screen.

While opening the doors to Thai viewers , Netflix has not added any new Thai-language content beyond the small selection of films it already had. And while the company on Thursday added support for three new languages, Thai was not among them. Neither the website, app or subtitles are available in Thai yet.

Another significant difference Thailand viewers may not look forward to is the same type of censorship used for movies showing in Thai movie theaters.

Netflix already applies censorship to movies showing in different markets around the world to adhere to local media laws. Eg Netflix already sanitises content in Japan, pixelating full-frontal nudity seen, for example, in the Marco Polo series produced by Netflix as well as other content .

In Thailand, the service could follow standard practice at movie theaters (cinemas) by pixelating smoking, drinking and bloody violence , as well as censoring nude scenes .

Update: Indonesian censors are the first to whinge about worldwide Netflix

11th January 2016. See  article from en.tempo.co

Netflix's expansion to Indonesia has agitated the Indonesian Censorship Agency (LSF).

LSF Chairman Ahmad Yani Basuki, together with the agency's members, held a meeting to discuss the online streaming service. During the meeting, Ahmad said that some of the movies provided by Netflix are not appropriate for Indonesian viewers There are some movies that we have forbid from being screened in the cinemas, Ahmad said, without mentioning the titles.

Several scenes that must be cut out from a movie before it can be screened in Indonesia include scenes that exhibit violence, gambling, drug abuse, pornography, scenes that may well lead to sectarian conflict, blasphemy, encourage criminal acts, and degrading human rights. Ahmad said too many of the abovementioned scenes in a movie will resulted in a ban.

In relation to Netflix, Ahmad underlined that Law No. 33/2009 on Movie Industry stated that movies that are going to be screened in Indonesia must first obtain a censorship letter from LSF. On the other hand, the American-based online streaming service company is yet to file a request for censorship. Without the requirement, we will recommend the Communication and Informatics Ministry to block the service, Ahmad said.

Update: Kenyan film censors bid to censor Netflix turned down

13th January 2016. See  article from telecompaper.com

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has differed with the Kenya Films and Classification Board (KFCB) over the handling of US online movie streaming service Netflix, which has launched operations in Kenya.

The CA said Netflix will not be asked to apply for a local broadcasting licence, meaning the US firm is exempt from local broadcasting censorship rules that are part of the licensing conditions.

Previously KFCB had announced that the US firm would not be exempted from the censorship law because it will be selling foreign content, adding that it had identified inappropriate programmes hosted by the on-demand service provider that are wrongly rated for children aged 13 years.

Update: Vietnam is none too impressed

15th January 2016. See  article from english.vietnamnet.vn

Netflix's video-streaming service is winding up Vietnam's censorial authorities. Lawyers have apparently raised questions about the legitimacy of Netflix's service providing in Vietnam and how it would affect Vietnam's own pay-TV market.

Ngo Huy Toan, inspector of the Ministry of Information and Communication, affirmed that all foreign firms which provide services to Vietnam but do not register their business and do not have licenses are violating Vietnamese laws. Also according to Toan, the government of Vietnam allows foreign firms to team up with Vietnamese to provide pay-TV services. However, the firms must complete business registration in Vietnam, pay tax to Vietnam and respect Vietnamese laws.

Vietnam sets very restrictive regulations on TV program content editing, translation and content censoring. This means that movies and TV shows all must go through censorship before they can be shown in Vietnam.

Update: Malaysia considers censorship a must

15th January 2016. See article from themalaymailonline.com

Netflix's movies and television series that are streamed online will still have to comply with local regulator Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commision (MCMC)'s content censorship minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak has said.

According to the New Straits Times (NST), Salleh told the paper that the MCMC can take action against Netflix if it makes offensive content available in Malaysia and breaches the regulator's content rules.

The communications and multimedia minister said MCMC will be asked to meet with Netflix to notify them of local content standards and their obligations.

Netflix still has to meet the local regulator's content standards even if it is exempt from getting a license as an over-the-top content application (OTT) provider like Facebook, Salleh said.

Malay Mail Online reported a US-based Netflix staff as confirming that there will be no censorship of television series and movies made available here, although certain content may be unavailable due to regional licensing restrictions.

Update: Indonesian censors block Netflix

27th January 2016. See  article from cnet.com

Indonesian 's largest telco, PT Telkom Indonesia, announced that as of 12 a.m. Wednesday morning they had blocked access to the Netflix streaming service on all of its Internet platforms.

Dian Rachmawan, Telkom's Director of Consumers, said the ban was put in place due to Netflix not following the country's broadcast laws and for having violent and pornographic content. Rachmawan told Daily Social that he didn't want to ban Netflix completely from the country ...BUT... rather wants to ensure they follow local regulations.

This blocking action will not have an impact to our customers. They [Netflix] are still small here. While they are still small, we will teach them to follow the rules here.




 

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