A Netflix Christmas comedy special which portrays Jesus Christ as a gay man has prompted outrage in Brazil’s Christian community, leading to an online petition to have it removed – which has gained more than two million signatures.
The First Temptation of Christ was created by Porta dos Fundos, a Brazilian YouTube comedy channel that has been known for producing provocative religious satires in the past.
The new 46-minute offering focuses on Jesus’s surprise birthday party and his relationship with Orlando, his flamboyant boyfriend. While Jesus first tries to conceal Orlando from his friends and relatives, he later welcomes him to the party and ends up singing a sexually suggestive musical number.
Also included in the cast of characters is Mary Magdalene, who is shown to be an avid marijuana user.
The Change.org petition, which calls for Netflix to remove the special from their streaming catalogue and apologise, has been signed by more than 2 million people already. It alleges that the special is offensive to Christians.
Porta dos Fundos have over 16 million subscribers on YouTube, and have remained defiant in the face of the backlash.
In a statement, the group said: “Porta dos Fundos values artistic freedom and humor through satire on the most diverse cultural themes of our society and believes that freedom of expression is an essential construction for a democratic country.”
Porta dos Fundos won an International Emmy Award for Best Comedy Web Television Special for their previous Christmas special, titled The Last Hangover.
The First Temptation of Christ can be watched now on Netflix