Netflix is facing backlash from conservative Christians after the release of Brazilian Christmas comedy special The First Temptation of Christ, which depicts Jesus as gay and Mary as a pothead.
With a petition circulating carrying over 1.7 million signatures, many Christians in the heavily-religious country of Brazil are offended or something.
Netflix’s new original Christmas release The First Temptation of Christ follows the story of Jesus returning home for his thirtieth birthday with his new “friend” Orlando in tow, whom he met in the desert. In the special, Mary is also depicting smoking weed, and although there’s a musical number, it’s less Jesus is King and a lot more Book Of Mormon.
The church – notorious for being unable to take a joke – are fuming at the comedy release by Brazilian Youtube group, Porta Dos Fundos, describing it as a “crime of villainous faith” and are demanding it be taken down immediately, as it offends “86% of the nation”. This, of course, is not entirely accurate. By Brazil’s current population, the petition would have to obtain 179 million signatures for this to be true, as opposed to its measly 1.7 million.
The Nation Conference of Bishops of Brazil released a statement on the satirical special, and it’s pretty intense:
“The right to freedom of expression does not nullify respect for people and their values… We cannot be led by the actions of those who, using the intelligence received from God, attack the same God. One day we will be held accountable for all our actions.”
Another petition organised by conservative, borderline hate-group CitizenGo has 240,000 signatures and counting. But Netflix is no stranger to controversy, and a service that’s had to deal with the fallout of Kevin Spacey (after allegations ensured the end of fan favourite House of Cards) and the backlash surrounding teen drama 13 Reasons Why just to name a few, surely won’t be fazed by a few angry Catholics. Besides, it’s easier to avoid hot water when you’re too busy making it.
Netflix has refused to comment, but Porta Dos Fundos released a statement following the controversy:
“Porta dos Fundos values artistic freedom and humour through satire on the most diverse cultural themes of our society and believes that freedom of expression is an essential construction for a democratic country.”
With over 16 million Youtube subscribers, Porta Dos Fundos has a long history of making religious satire. Their efforts didn’t go unnoticed last year either, with their Christmas special The Last Hangover winning an international Emmy for best comedy web television special.
And it’s not like this is the first time it’s been insinuated that Jesus was gay, anyway. Queerty even compiled a list of all the times Jesus was at his gayest/sexiest.