American media-services provider and Production Company, Netflix has filed an appeal to Brazil’s highest court on Thursday after a judge issued a temporary injunction for the streaming service to pull down a comedy that depicts Jesus Christ as gay.
“We strongly support artistic expression and we will fight to defend this important principle, which is the heart of great stories”, a spokesperson for the on-demand platform which has 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries said after the appeal was filed.
The controversial movie titled “The First Temptation of Christ”, produced by Brazilian comedy group Porta dos Fundos, has generated strong criticism from conservative politicians in the mainly Catholic country, the church itself and from evangelicals.
In a statement, Porta dos Fundos said it “opposed any act of censorship, violence, illegality, authoritarianism” and vowed to continue broadcasting its work.
The ruling by Rio de Janeiro judge Benedicto Abicair on Wednesday, January 8, ordered Netflix to remove the Christmas special that some called blasphemous for depicting Jesus as a gay man and which prompted a gasoline bomb attack on the satirists behind the program.
Judge Benedicto Abicair responded to 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.”