Netflix India declined to comment on this case to ., specifically on the complaint to the police
Several experts point out that creative freedom in the Asian country is being reduced, especially in relations between Muslims and Hindus
For the streaming platform, this nation is one of the most promising for its growth outside the United States
Netflix has quickly become an entertainment empire with film and TV projects around the world. Precisely because of the enormous scope of its productions, it seems that the brand is doomed to occasional controversy over the images and plots it explores. And according to ., this time the streaming platform has gotten into conflict with the Indian authorities. A process that could lead to various legal penalties.
This time, the series that got Netflix in trouble was A Suitable Boy. It is an adaptation of the British novel of the same name where a young Hindu is in search of a good husband. In the scene that caused annoyance to the authorities, the protagonist is seen kissing a Muslim boy, while in the background a Hindu temple is seen. Narottam Mishra, the interior ministry in Madhya Pradesh state, said the series “hurt the feelings of a religion.”
Mishra noted that he has directed the police department to investigate the case. And, at the time, seek legal action against Netflix against the producer and director of the series for “hurting religious sensibilities.” Gaurav Tiwari, the governor of Madhya Pradesh, also launched a separate legal process against the streaming brand. Not only that, but he also threatened marches against the company if it does not remove the content from the site.
Religion vs artistic production
It should be noted that Netflix has not been the only company that has been targeted by India and its authorities for religious reasons. A fairly similar case, according to NewsBytes, is that of the movie Laxmii. The film also touches on the love affair between a Hindu woman and a Muslim boy. The practice, known as “love jihad,” is detested by many people in the country. And in this case, it sparked a huge call for a boycott within social media.
It is not minor that Netflix is getting in trouble for regional content that is not appealing to certain segments of its audience. According to Advanced Television, several players in the Video-On-Demand (VoD) sector are investing in local content. This, in part because they have to compete with the abundant library of movies and series of their regional rivals. But also because they are attractive productions to subscribers.
Specifically on the religious issue, Netflix is walking in quite delicate territory. There are multiple requests on Change.org calling for a boycott of the streaming platform. And in cases like A Suitable Boy in India, the possibility of legal action is not so remote. In this sense, it is important that the company is very careful with the type of content it decides to publish. Or, on the contrary, that he is aware of the challenges he would deal with.
Another controversy for Netflix
It should be noted that on other occasions, even in Western countries, the streaming platform has gotten into trouble due to certain artistic decisions of its projects. For example, in the case of Cuties, there was a lot of noise in networks because of the cover that was chosen for the film, where young minors were allegedly sexualized. At the time, however, Netflix defended the validity of the film, but accepted the error with the promotional material.
Other controversies have been less violent. For example, the film Murder Mystery was also widely criticized by Netflix subscribers and the general public. But the reason for the criticism was for the overall quality of the film. And it is that many agreed that it was a project full of clichés and common places of the world of cinema. Within Spain, where the film is set, the disagreements were even more notable.