Since Netflix was founded almost 25 years ago, the company has removed nine titles from its service around the world in compliance with government demands, including Night of the Living Dead in Germany and Full Metal Jacket in Vietnam.
Netflix laid out the nine takedowns it’s received from various companies relating to certain parts of its film and television catalog in a new environmental social governance report, first spotted by Axios. Netflix’s report noted that while its catalog varies from country to country for a number of reasons, including licensing rights, “in some cases we’ve also been forced to remove specific titles or episodes of titles in specific countries due to government takedown demands.” Source: The Verge
The Bridge: Netflix says it complied with a written demand from the New Zealand Film and Video Labeling Body in 2015 to remove the film from its service in the country. The Bridge is classified as “objectionable” in New Zealand. This is the first instance of Netflix complying with a government takedown demand.
The Bridge is a documentary film about the Golden Gate Bridge and its relation to increases in suicides. According to Netflix, it obliged to the takedown as New Zealand has strict laws on media reporting of suicide.
Full Metal Jacket: A written demand from The Vietnamese Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI) in 2017 resulted in the removal of the Stanley Kubrick-directed Vietnam War film from the service in the country. The takedown request was made over the film’s depiction of Hao Chi Minh.
Night of the Living Dead: The German Commission for Youth Protection (KJM) requested the removal of a version of George Romero’s zombie classic. Netflix complied with the written demand in 2017 and removed it from the service.
Cooking on High, The Legend of 420, and Disjointed: Netflix complied with a written demand from the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in 2018, removing the three titles from the service in Singapore. The films, according to the demand, glorify or promote drug use, which is illegal in Singapore.
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj: This one actually attention in 2019 when the Saudi Communication and Information Technology Commission requested the removal of the episode “Saudi Arabia” from the service in the country. The episode was highly critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Netflix complied with the takedown demand.
The Last Temptation of Christ: The Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) sent a written demand in 2019 for the removal of this title in the country, which Netflix complied with. The Last Temptation of Christ is banned in Singapore due to a law meant to ensure religious harmony. The film had created controversy over its depiction of Jesus Christ having a relationship with Mary Magdalene.
The Last Hangover: The first takedown request of 2020 is also from the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). The company complied with the written demand to remove the film from Netflix in Singapore. Again, this film was removed because content that offends racial or religious groups is illegal in Singapore.
The country with the most government takedown requests sent to Netflix is Singapore, with removal demands for 5 separate titles.