Russia investigates complaint against Netflix over LGBT content

Series like “Sex Education” on Netflix are a thorn in the side of Russian authorities.
Photo: Netflix

Update: Due to the economic sanction imposed on Russia Netflix seized its operations in Russia.

Russia is investigating a complaint against Netflix after the public commissioner for protecting families accused the streaming company of violating Russian law on “gay propaganda”, the Vedomosti daily reported.

The commissioner, Olga Baranets, complained to the Interior Ministry that Netflix was in breach of a 2013 law that bans disseminating “propaganda on non-traditional sexual relations” among Russians under the age of 18 when broadcasting LGBT-themed series with a 16+ label.

Her appeal is being considered by the Moscow department of the Interior Ministry, Vedomosti cited a source as saying in a report published late on Wednesday.

Netflix declined to comment. The U.S. company could face a fine of up to 1 million roubles ($13,400) or a temporary suspension of its service if found to have violated the law, Vedomosti said.

Russia’s legislation has been condemned by rights groups. In 2017 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Russian gay propaganda law breached European treaty rules, violated the right to freedom of expression and discriminated against LGBT people – a ruling Moscow called unjust.

Moscow is clamping down on foreign technology companies in particular, which critics characterise as an attempt by the Russian authorities to exert tighter control over the internet. read more

Vedomosti this month reported that Russian authorities were discussing changes to how online streaming services are regulated.

Netflix was cautious about the complaint. The US company announced that the series and film offer had recently been examined and that LGBTQ+ content was marked with the contested age restriction of over 16 could not be found. Good for them!

News by Reuters


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