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Netflix Pulls Episode Of Hasan Minhaj’s Show In Saudi Arabia

Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj

At 33-years-old, Minhaj is best known for appearing as a senior correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show from 2014 to 2018. In the 2017 Netflix stand-up comedy special Homecoming King, Minhaj discusses his Indian Muslim heritage, along with issues he faced while growing up in Davis, California, both within and outside his home. In addition, Minhaj comments on his relationship with Beena Patel, his wife who comes from a Hindu family. In recent years, Minhaj has appeared in films like Rough Night (2017) starring Scarlett Johansson and The Spy Who Dumped Me starring Mila Kunis, both of which also feature fellow comedian Kate McKinnon. Last March, Netflix ordered a new 32-episode series hosted by Minhaj, and the first two episodes, “Affirmative Action” and “Saudi Arabia,” premiered on Oct. 28, 2018.

Related: Netflix: 15 Best Movies And TV Shows Leaving In January 2019

Per Financial Times [via Vulture], Netflix pulled an episode of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj last week in which Saudi Arabia, and it wasn’t a recently aired production. The show in question is the second premiere episode “Saudi Arabia,” in which Minhaj criticizes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, whose been connected to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Hasan Minhaj on Netflix

Approximately four weeks before the episode aired, Khashoggi - a columnist for The Washington Post - was assassinated at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, which prompted Minhaj’s extensive commentary on the country’s government. The Netflix host stated, “Now would be a good time to reassess our relationship with Saudi Arabia. And I mean that as a Muslim, and as an American.” In response, Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission claimed Netflix violated the kingdom’s anti-cyber crime law and Netflix told Financial Times that they removed the episode within the country to "comply with local law." The episode is still available in other regions and on Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj’s official YouTube channel.

Aside from the latest complaint from Saudi Arabia, the Netflix episode also caused a domestic controversy upon its initial release, citing an offensive term for indigenous Saudi Arabians that had been used in an online manual for American troops. In response to those complaints, the U.S. Central Command issued an apologetic statement and subsequently removed the online manual. As of today, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj has aired just seven episodes, with the latest - "Content Moderation and Free Speech” - exploring uploads to social media. That episode aired one month ago on December 2.

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj has received critical acclaim, and the latest news suggests it's a relevant platform for an emerging voice in political comedy.

More: What’s Next in Netflix’s Future?

Source: Financial Times [via Vulture]

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