Rather than censor a gay character in its upcoming drama If Only at the behest of the Turkish authorities where the show was set for production, Netflix scrapped the series altogether, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The eight-part romance set to star Turkish actor Özge Özpirincci was announced in March. But Turkish authorities refused to issue a filming license over the existence of a secondary gay character in the series.
“Due to a gay character, permission to film the series was not granted and this is very frightening for the future,” If Only’s creator Ece Yörenç told Turkish film website Altyazi Fasikul, according to Deadline.
While Netflix did not comment on pulling If Only specifically, a spokesperson issued the following comment:
“Netflix remains deeply committed to our Turkish members and the creative community in Turkey. We are proud of the incredible talent we work with. We currently have several Turkish originals in production — with more to come — and look forward to sharing these stories with our members all around the world.”
In recent years, Turkey has banned Pride marches in cities throughout the country, including in Istanbul and Ankara, citing public morality laws.
Other Netflix shows with queer content including Orange Is the New Black and Hollywood (both produced and shot in the United States) have aired in Turkey without censorship, according to THR.