Netflix pulls comedy show episode in Saudi Arabia

A segment of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj was critical of the Saudi Prince, violating the country's communication laws

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj

Netflix has removed an episode of satire show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj from its Saudi Arabia platform as it contained jokes criticising the country.

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The episode features a segment on journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. Host Minhaj blamed Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Khashoggi’s murder, calling it the “biggest tragedy of the MBS era.”

He later added: “Now would be a good time to reassess our relationship with Saudi Arabia. And I mean that as a Muslim and as an American.”

Saudi Arabia took issue with the episode, saying it violated the kingdom’s Communications and Information Technology Commission and the segment violated its cybercrime law, according to The Financial Times newspaper.

The streaming service defended its decision to remove the episode, saying: “We strongly support artistic freedom worldwide and only removed this episode in Saudi Arabia after we had received a valid legal request – and to comply with local law.”

The episode is still available to view on Netflix in the UK, US and other parts of the world.

Khashoggi is a vocal critic of the Saudi royal family, with his articles in the Washington Post taking aim at Mohammed bin Salman. He fled Saudi Arabia in September 2017 amid a clampdown on press freedom.

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Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj is available to watch now on Netflix


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