Netflix revealed a set of movies removed from their collection of streaming content over the past several years due specifically to requests from governmental bodies. While this might come as a shock to some, Netflix isn’t a particularly prolific blocker or media, especially when it comes to requests from the governments of each individual region in which they operate. Instead, if what they’ve listed is accurate, they’ve only really blocked nine movies or television show episodes in the last 5 years, around the world, total.
In a document from Netflix called the Netflix Environmental Social Governance Report: 2019 Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Report, we see that Netflix aims to be seen as a company that’s conscious of its own impact on society. “As more people join Netflix from different countries and cultures, we want to ensure that our workforce is as diverse as the communities we serve,” says the Netflix report. “We also understand that as we grow, we have a responsibility to be more transparent about our impact on society and our governance structures.”
• 2015: New Zealand Film and Video Labeling Body asked for removal of The Bridge in New Zealand. “The film is classified as “objectionable” in the country.”
• 2017: The Vietnamese Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI) requested the removal of Full Metal Jacket in Vietnam.
• In 2017: The German Commission for Youth Protection (KJM) requested the removal of Night of the Living Dead in Germany. A version of the film is banned in the country.
• In 2018: The Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) requested the removal of Cooking on High, The Legend of 420, and Disjointed in Singapore.
• In 2019: The Saudi Communication and Information Technology Commission requested the removal of one episode—“Saudi Arabia”—from the series Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj from the service in Saudi Arabia.
• In 2019: The Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) requested the removal of The Last Temptation of Christ in Singapore. The film is banned in the country.
• In 2020: The Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) requested the removal of The Last Hangover from the service in Singapore.
See any you’d be upset about on the list? Notice here that the USA does not appear on the list, and no government-requested banning of media from Netflix seems to have been enacted at any point. Netflix suggested this week that they plan on releasing a list like this each year with ESG information aplenty.