The Egyptian media regulator have demanded that Netflix and other streaming services adhere to the “societal values” of majority of Muslim country, a veiled reference to programs featuring members of the LGBTQ community.
The announcement came a day after Gulf Arab countries asked Netflix to remove “offensive content” from its streaming service, ostensibly programs depicting gays and lesbians.
According to the Egyptian government’s statement, streaming services should comply with “societal principles and values of the country” they are streaming in. The statement called for them to undertake “necessary measures if they air content contradicting values of the society.”
In Egypt, 95% of those polled said homosexuality should be “rejected by society,” according to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey.
Though it is not explicitly prohibited by law, members of the LGBTQ community are often prosecuted under charges of “immorality” and “debauchery.” Authorities regularly arrest gay men, with large police raids on private parties or locations such as public baths, restaurants, and bars.
Egypt’s movie industry, long celebrated in the Mideast, also bans films and programs from featuring gays and lesbians.
In June, countries in the Muslim world banned the public showing of Disney’s latest animated film “Lightyear” which has a brief moment showing two lesbian characters kissing.
Following that, the company’s Disney streaming service stated that its “content available in Gulf Arab countries should align with local regulatory require
In January, the first Arabic Netflix movie, “No Dearer Friends,” sparked controversy, with critics claiming it was a threat to family and religious values, encouraged homosexuality and that it was allegedly unfit for Arab societies.
At least one lawmaker, Mostafa Bakry, called for Netflix to be banned in Egypt.