Netflix hit the headlines last year when it pulled an episode of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj that was critical of Saudi Arabia from its streaming service in the country. As it turns out, the company has only ever removed titles or episodes nine times after formal takedown requests from governments.
It has done so most often in Singapore, removing five items including The Last Temptation of Christ (which is banned in the country), Brazilian comedy The Last Hangover and a trio of weed-related shows, because cannabis is illegal there. Netflix has also pulled The Bridge in New Zealand (which deems the Scandanavian series “objectionable”), Full Metal Jacket in Vietnam and Night of the Living Dead in Germany. All of the requests had been made in the last five years.
Netflix works with countries to keep titles and episodes available for users to stream, but removes an item if it can’t reach an agreement with a government and it receives a written takedown request from authorities. It considers those to be legal requests and it wants to abide by local laws.
The company laid out the requests and its compliance with them in an environmental, social and governance report, which it will publish once a year. The report also covers Netflix’s environmental impact and energy use, as well as diversity in terms of its workforce and content.