Brazil's Supreme Court lifts ban on Netflix film depicting Jesus as gay

Netflix logo
Netflix logo | Reuters/File

Brazil's Supreme Court decided Thursday that Netflix can continue streaming a controversial Brazilian comedy special that depicts Jesus Christ as a homosexual.

The Supreme Court overturned a lower court judge's ruling from Tuesday that ordered Netflix to remove a controversial Brazilian comedy special despite international outcry and a petition signed by over 2 million people demanding its removal.

Titled “The First Temptation of Christ” (most likely a play on words reminiscent of the controversial 1988 film “The Last Temptation of Christ”), the satirical “special” that first aired Dec. 3 ahead of Christmas was created by a Brazilian comedy group known as Porta Does Fundos.

According to a report by BBC's Daniel Gallas from São Paulo this week, Judge Benedicto Abicair in Rio de Janeiro ordered Netflix to remove the film from its platform.

On Thursday, however, the higher court's ruling struck down the lower court’s ban with the President of Brazil’s Supreme Court, Justice José Antonio Dias Toffoli, stating that freedom of expression is a fundamental right of democracy.

“A piece of satire is not going to undermine the values of Christian faith, which has been around for more than 2,000 years,” the court’s president wrote.

Netflix nor Porta dos Fundos have commented on the ruling.

“Jesus, who's hitting the big 3-0, brings a surprise guest to meet the family. A Christmas special so wrong, it must be from comedians Porta dos Fundos,” reads the movie’s description on Netflix.

The satirical film, which depicts Christ as a homosexual, did not go over well with many Christians and church leaders in Brazil and a petition was drafted calling on Netflix to remove the special. As of Saturday, it has garnered over 2,366,700 signatures.

The Rio de Janeiro office of Porta dos Fundos, the creators behind the film, was attacked with firebombs on Christmas Eve. No one was injured. 

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