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Netflix removed titles in Turkey, Singapore last year due to government demands

15:27 PDT 30.03.2021


Alex Weprin

The streamer removed two titles in Singapore due to drug use, and in Turkey removed an episode of ‘Designated Survivor’ and the controversial French film ‘Cuties’.

Singapore has become a thorn in Netflix’s side when it comes to demanding that video content be removed from the streaming service.

According to Netflix̵

7;s annual Environmental Social Governance Report for 2020, the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority ordered the streamer to remove two drug-themed programs: Prepared with cannabis, where chefs compete to make marijuana-infected foods, and the movie Have A Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics, where celebrities talk about their experiences with hallucinogenic drugs.

Singapore has some of the strictest drug laws in the world, and it extends to their oversight of content. In fact, of the 13 titles Netflix has removed due to government demands since its launch, 7 have come from Singapore, mainly over drug-using scenes.

Netflix also revealed that the Turkish government demanded the removal of two titles last year: the controversial French film Sweet, and a season 2 episode of the drama Designated Survivor.

The Designated Survivor The episode featured the Turkish president demanding the extradition of a Turkish opposition leader. While a work of fiction, it bore some resemblance to the real feud between the Turkish government and cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania and is wanted in Turkey over what he claims was his role in a failed coup attempt.

Last year, Netflix also chose to cancel the original Turkish series If only after the authorities demanded that a gay character be removed from the script.

Netflix says it will reveal the titles it removes above government requirements each year, after first revealing the information in last year’s ESG report. The company’s policy is to comply with local content laws.

The main focus of this year’s ESG report was focused on the company’s plan to become carbon neutral by the end of 2022. It plans to do so through a combination of efforts, including the use of local crews and electric vehicles, as well as through carbon offsets.

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