A Brazilian judge has ordered Netflix to stop streaming a satirical film depicting Jesus Christ as gay.
The Netflix Christmas special A Primeira Tentação de Cristo, or The First Temptation of Christ, had already sparked criticism from religious leaders.
But the Brazilian newspaper Folha reports a court justice in Rio de Janeiro has now ordered Netflix to withdraw the special — at least for now.
That’s motivated in part by seven lawsuits already filed by church leaders over the content of the special. In the Portuguese-language satire, Jesus (played by Gregory Duvivier) brings home a male love interest to meet his parents for the holidays. It is an episode of comedy sketch show Porta Dos Fundo, or The Back Door.
The Centro Don Mosco Association of Faith and Culture had requested that a judge order the episode to be taken down, but that was initially denied in court. An appeals judge, however, ruled suspension of streaming the episode was beneficial “not only for the Christian community, but for the mostly Christian Brazilian society.”
The judge also noted in the order that suspending the episode would prevent more serious and irreparable damage within Brazil than it would cause economic hardship for Netflix or show producers, especially as the Christmas season, when the show would attract the highest viewership, has already passed.
Legal experts in Brazil told Folha that Netflix needs to comply with the order immediately but can still appeal the decision and can eventually fight the order to the nation’s Supreme Court.