Cairo ( Associated Press) — Egypt’s media regulator on Wednesday called on Netflix and other online video services to adhere to the Muslim country’s “social values,” a veiled reference to showing that touch of LGBTQ issues.
The statement came a day after countries in the region asked Netflix to remove “offensive” content from its platform, apparently referring to programs featuring gay people.
According to the Egyptian government’s statement, streaming services must adhere to “the principles of the society and the values of the country” where they broadcast their videos. The document asks them to “take necessary measures if the material transmitted is contrary to the values of the society.”
The statement from the Supreme Council for Media Regulation did not provide further details. The Los Gatos, California-based company has not commented.
Homosexuality is taboo in Egypt, where a 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 93% of Egyptians think it “should be rejected by society.”
Although there is no action expressly prohibited by law, members of the LGBTQ community are often accused of “immorality” and “licensure.” Authorities often arrest gay men during private parties and raids on places such as public restrooms, restaurants and bars.
The Egyptian film industry, which is celebrated in the Middle East, also does not allow movies or shows that feature gays or lesbians.
In June, countries in the Muslim world banned public screenings of Disney’s latest animated film, “Lightear,” because of a scene where two female characters kiss.
In January, Netflix’s first Arab film, “No Dear Friends,” sparked controversy, with critics saying it threatened family and religious values and promoted homosexuality. At least one lawmaker, Mustafa Bakri, called for Netflix to be banned in Egypt.