On Friday, Netflix released its 2019 Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Report. This report (the company’s first) is an attempt at being more transparent, focusing on its environmental, social, and governance performance. In this year’s report, Netflix revealed that the number of takedown requests they received from governments.
Netflix goes into detail on the nine titles they have removed since the company launched 23 years ago. The following titles or episodes of titles were removed in specific countries due to written government takedown demands.
- The Bridge. New Zealand Film and Video Labeling Body demanded the film be removed due to the film’s classification as “objectionable.” Removed from New Zealand’s service in 2015.
- Full Metal Jacket. Vietnamese Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI) demanded the film’s removal. Removed from Vietnam’s service in 2017.
- Night of the Living Dead. German Commission for Youth Protection (KJM) demanded film’s removal as a version of the film is banned in the country. Removed from Germany’s service in 2017.
- Cooking on High, The Legend of 420, and Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) demanded the removal of the three films. Removed from Singapore’s service in 2018.
- Episode “Saudi Arabia” from Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. Saudi Communication and Information Technology Commission demanded the removal of the single episode. The episode was removed from Saudi Arabia’s service only in 2019.
- The Last Temptation of Christ. Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) demanded the removal of the film. Removed from Singapore’s service in 2019.
- The Last Hangover. Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) demanded the removal of the film. Removed from Singapore’s service in 2020.
Netflix does not have the rights to show everything in every country the company operates in. Therefore, any content that is deemed illegal will be removed. The removal of these nine titles was the result of legal written demands. Moving forward, Netflix will announce all government takedown demands annually.
Netflix states in its report that they “offer creators the ability to reach audiences all around the world.” As Netflix continues to expand into international markets, the issue of censorship will be ever-present. If the content is deemed illegal, Netflix has no choice but to comply. However, these annual reports will help the company remain transparent and keep the public aware of potential censorship.