Netflix Censors Hasan Minhaj Over Khashoggi Killing and War in Yemen

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Netflix is under fire for pulling an episode of U.S. comedian Hasan Minhaj’s show Patriot Act from Saudi Arabia, after officials from the kingdom complained to the streaming company that it violated Saudi cybercrime laws. The episode was posted in late October, a few weeks after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Hasan Minhaj sharply criticized the Saudi royal family and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

HASAN MINHAJ: Just a few months ago, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aka MBS, was hailed as the reformer the Arab world needed. But the revelations about Khashoggi’s killing have shattered that image. And it blows my mind that it took the killing of a Washington Post journalist for everyone to go, “Oh, I guess he’s really not a reformer.” Meanwhile, every Muslim person you know was like, “Yeah, no [bleep]. He’s the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.” So now would be a good time to reassess our relationship with Saudi Arabia. And I mean that as a Muslim and as an American. …

MBS was shocked by all of the anger over the killing of one journalist. According to The Wall Street Journal, on a phone call with Jared Kushner, MBSasked, “Why the outrage?” And frankly, MBS’s confusion is completely understandable. He has been getting away with autocratic [bleep] like this for years with almost no blowback from the international community.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: In the 18-minute episode, Minhaj slams the Saudi regime and the crown prince for the kingdom’s persecution of women and human rights activists and its ongoing war in Yemen. He also calls out the long-standing relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States and skewers the Western portrayal of the crown prince as a modern reformer.

AMY GOODMAN: The censored episode has been viewed more than 1.6 million times on YouTube, where it remains available to viewers in Saudi Arabia. On…

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