Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Turkey bans a Netflix series because it features a gay character

Negotiations between Netflix and officials linked to Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) over a gay character featured in a popular Turkish series by the streaming platform have ended in a faceoff.

The dispute revolves a coming-of-age comedy drama Aşk 101 (Love 101) that featured a storyline surrounding a gay high school student Turkey’s state broadcasting regulator wanted censored.

Shortly before Aşk 101 launched in April, Turkish authorities said they would not tolerate a homosexual theme, adding that they would apply sanctions to Netflix if the series featured a gay character. The subsequent airing of the show was interpreted as the series being clear of any themes of homosexuality.

After days of talks, Netflix drew the line at AKP's homosexuality censorship and stopped shooting the show in Turkey. It refused to accept the censorship.

Homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, however its LGBT community has faced considerable hostility under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party. Turkish authorities have banned pride celebrations in the past few years citing “security concerns”.

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