From time to time, a streaming service may receive notice that its programming has been subject to objection or criticism in a certain location, so governments can ask for titles to be taken down.
Netflix has published its Environmental Social Governance 2019 report, where it details the nine titles which have been taken down since the service first launched.
Two demands were issued in 2019 – The Last Temptation of Christ in Singapore, which is a 1988 film from Martin Scorsese banned in that location.
An episode of Hasan Minhaj’s Patriot Act was taken down, as it criticized Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s regime in Saudia Arabia.
A title has been removed for 2020; The Last Hangover was taken down after the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority issued a written demand.
When the episode of Patriot Act was removed in Saudia Arabia, some said it was censorship and caving in to an oppressive regime, but Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said: ‘We’re not in the news business, we’re not trying to do truth-to-power. We’re trying to entertain.’