LONDON: Egypt’s media regulator has demanded that Netflix and other streaming services adhere to its ‘societal values,’ joining six Gulf Cooperation Council states in threatening the platform with legal action over the issue.
In a government statement on Wednesday, Cairo said that streaming services should comply with “societal principles and values of the country they are streaming in.” Egypt also warned platforms, including Netflix and Disney+, that authorities would take “necessary measures if they air content contradicting values of the society.”
The Egyptian ultimatum came one day after a GCC special committee called on Netflix to remove offensive content from its platform or risk litigation.
Esra Assery, chief executive officer of the Saudi General Commission for Audiovisual Media, said: “All legal measures will be taken to protect the Kingdom’s sovereignty, citizens, and residents from any intellectual attack aimed at affecting its societies, values, safety of upbringing their generations and protecting them from harmful content.”
It is not the first time that Arab countries have asked streaming platforms to take down content viewed as violating society standards.
In January, Netflix’s first Arab movie “Perfect Strangers” sparked controversy with critics claiming it threatened family and religious values and encouraged homosexuality.
Egyptian lawmaker Mostafa Bakry suggested that Netflix should be banned from the country and called for an urgent meeting in parliament to discuss the situation.
And in June, the UAE and 13 other countries banned Pixar’s “Lightyear” for violating media content standards.
Films such as “West Side Story” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” were also banned in various countries throughout the region, including the UAE, for including trans and homosexual characters.
The UAE later removed the ban on “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” opting instead for a minimum 21 age rating.