entertainment

Brazil judge orders Netflix to remove film depicting Jesus Christ as a gay man

Almost two million people signed a Change.org petition against the film

2020-01-09

Words: Steve Brown

A Brazilian judge has ordered Netflix to stop showing a film depicting Jesus Christ as a gay man.

Produced by Bazilian YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos – whose headquarters were targeted by a petrol bomb attack on Christmas Eve – the 46-minute film shows Jesus returning home for a surprise 30th birthday with his male 'friend', Orlando.

Last year, almost two million people signed a Change.org petition calling for Brazilian comedy The First Temptation of Christ, which is available to stream on Netflix UK, to be removed from the platform and banned for 'offending Christians'.

Now Rio de Janerio judge Benedicto Abicair issued a ruling in response to the petition arguing the film had hurt the ‘honour of millions of Catholics’, Sky News reported.

The judge said that removing the film is ‘beneficial not only to the Christian community, but to Brazilian society which is mostly Christian’.

The production company behind the comedy defended its film as legitimate freedom of expression in the face of anger from religious groups.

The LGBTQ community in Brazil – which has the largest Christian community in the world – is currently facing ongoing troubles after far-right, homophobe president Jair Bolsonaro has continually targeted the community.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of the Brazil's viciously racist and homophobic president, also blasted the film on social media, writing: "We support freedom of expression, but is it worth attacking the belief of 86 percent of the population?"

Despite the backlash from frothing-mouted religious zealots, the producers of The First Temptation of Christ previously told The Sun in a statement: "We value artistic freedom and humour through satire on the most diverse cultural themes of our society and believes that freedom of expression is an essential construction for a democratic country."