A new report from Netflix has revealed that the streaming giant has removed nine titles from its catalog of content, in compliance with government requests.
The requests originated from all over the world, from Germany to Brazil to Saudi Arabia, and were detailed in the recently released Environmental Social Governance 2019 report. While nine titles may seem like a lot, these are the only pieces of streaming content that have been taken down since the company's inception over a decade ago.
These were the nine titles removed form the Netflix library:
- In 2015, the New Zealand Film and Video Labeling Body requested that The Bridge be removed from the Netflix library in that country. It has been labeled as "objectionable."
- In 2017, the movie Full Metal Jacket was removed from Netflix in Vietnam. The second half of the movie takes place in Vietnam, and the movie is widely considered to be Stanley Kubrick's take on the Vietnam War - a sensitive subject for the country as a whole.
- The same year, Germany's Commission for Youth Protection requested that Night of the Living Dead be removed from Netflix's catalog. A version of the movie is already banned there.
- In 2018, Singapore demanded that Cooking on High, The Legend of 420, and Disjointed all be removed from the Singaporean Netflix catalog.
- In 2019, Saudi Arabia demanded that an episode of comedian Hasan Minaj's Patriot Act be removed. The episode made waves by criticizing the regime of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This was perhaps the most publicized take down.
- The same year, Singapore's government requested that Martin Scorcese's 1988 film, The Last Temptation of Christ, be removed. It is banned in that country.
- Finally, Singapore made another request for removal, this time for The Last Hangover. It was honored this year.
While some of these bans may seem understandable to some audiences, others are less clear. But Netflix was clear in a statement to The Verge: just because a government body asks for a takedown doesn't mean it will automatically get its wish: they must "be valid, written legal demands from government bodies."
While Netflix has been criticized for honoring these requests, the streaming service stands behind its decision. It has resisted and appealed the demands where it could and continues to do so, but Netflix has maintained that the company needs to work to find a middle ground to honor content laws that differ around the globe.
It's important to note that just because Netflix removed these titles from their libraries in these countries, that doesn't mean that you won't be able to watch them in your won country. Anyone in the United States can still watch these movies if they were in the Netflix library already. Libraries vary from country to country due of a plethora of reasons, among them usage rights and license agreements.
Regardless of this news, Netflix makes our list of the best movie and TV streaming sites on the web right now: it's affordable, doesn't have commercials, and has an extensive catalog of titles - regardless of where you live.