RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — On January 8, a Brazilian court ordered that a controversial film depicting Jesus as a homosexual be removed from the streaming platform Netflix, in response to a lawsuit brought by a Brazilian Catholic organization.
The film depicts Jesus returning home at the age of 30 as a homosexual who also smokes marijuana.
In their complaint, which had previously been rejected by a lower court, the organization—the Don Bosco Center for Faith and Culture—argued that the film “hurt the honor of millions of Cathollics.”
Judge Benedicto Abicair ordered Netflix to remove the film, maintaining that the ““right to freedom of expression… is not absolute” and that its removal would be “beneficial not only to the Christian community, but to Brazilian society, which is mostly Christian.”
Both Netflix and the studio that produced the piece, “Porta dos Fundos,” expressed disappointment in the ruling and indicated that they would appeal it to Brazil’s Supreme Court.
The decision came amidst widespread criticism of the film, with over two million people signing a petition urging Netflix to remove it. Brazilian Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of the nation’s President Jair Bolsonaro, also voiced his opposition to the film.
Tweeting about backlash to the film in Poland—like Brazil, a country with an overwhelmingly large Catholic population—Bolsonaro said that the filmmakers “do not represent Brazilian society” and called the film “garbage.”
Others took to Twitter to post screenshots of the cancellation of their accounts, adding a boycott effort to the petition action and general outcry.
It is unclear at present whether the appeal of the decision will be taken by Brazil’s high court.