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Netflix removed content from Turkey and Singapore catalogues after government interventions

Reality series Cooked with Cannabis and French film Cuties were among those removed

Louis Chilton
Wednesday 31 March 2021 11:07 BST
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Cuties trailer

Netflix has revealed it removed selected titles from its catalogues in Singapore and Turkey last year following requests by their respective governments.

The popular streaming service took down two titles with overt drug themes on the order of Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority.

The first of these was Cooked with Cannabis, a reality show in which contestants bake edibles infused with marijuana, and the other was the documentary film Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics, which features a number of well-known celebrities recounting their experiences with hallucinogens.

Singapore is known for its strict anti-drug laws. Singaporean authorities have ordered Netflix to take down five other titles for similar reasons in the past.

Netflix disclosed the nature of the incident in its annual Environmental Social Governance Report for 2020, which can be accessed here.

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According to the report, the government of Turkey also insisted upon the removal of two entries in the Netflix category: the French independent film Cuties, which was at the centre of massive controversy in the US last year, and an episode of the Kiefer Sutherland drama Designated Survivor.

In the episode of Designated Survivor, a fictional Turkish president is seen demanding the extradition of an opposition leader from the US. It was a plotline which some compared to a real-world incident that took place between Turkey’s government and Fethullah Gulen, a cleric who moved to Pennsylvania after an alleged failed coup attempt.

Netflix complied with the request, and also revealed it had cancelled a planned Turkish original series, entitled If Only, after authorities stipulated that a gay character would need to be excised from the script.

The company will reveal which titles are removed from localised catalogues every year as the result of government intervention. As a matter of policy, Netflix complies with local laws on the matter of content.

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