With a global reach that dwarfs the majority of other entertainment platforms, Netflix currently reigns as the king of streaming. However, that definitely doesn't mean all of its exclusive series are welcomed everywhere with open arms. For instance, Netflix's very first Arabic original series Jinn has faced a rash of harsh criticisms since making its debut on June 13, and some are calling for the horror-tinged drama to be taken down.
Specifically, viewers and officials within the country of Jordan have been voicing their anger and disapproval since Jinn was first released on Netflix last week. The five-episode first season centers on a group of teen students who take a doomed school trip to the city of Petra, where they're confronted with evil and virtuous spirits that have ulterior motives.
Jinn appears to be under fire in Jordan primarily for two scenes in which actress Salma Milhis' character Mira can be seen kissing two different boys. But beyond just random fans calling out the show for its arguably "immoral" moments and plot points, the country's top prosecutor is reportedly trying to get Jinn removed from Netflix's streaming service. Or, at least, to stop Jordanian Netflix subscribers from having access to it.
According to Al Jazeera, Jordan's prosecutor called on the Ministry of Interior's cybercrimes unit to take "immediate necessary measures" to stop Jinn from showing up in Netflix's content library, due to such "immoral scenes."
In response to the comments and criticisms, the streaming giant put out an official statement through Netflix Middle East.
We have followed with regret the current wave of bullying against actors and staff in the Jinn series and we declare that we will not tolerate any of these actions and words of the crew. Our position has always been centered on the values ??of diversity and inclusiveness and therefore we are working to provide a safe space for all series and film lovers around the region.
As serious and detrimental as a "wave of bullying" can be for young actors – especially considering Jinn used almost entirely first-time performers – Netflix's execs don't appear to be too taken aback by the recent spate of negative publicity. While the statement doesn't directly address the moral issues had with people on the show, the company does state that it will not tolerate such online harassment.
What's more, Jordan's official Media Commission offered up its own statement on the matter, as it can be assumed many offended viewers also hit up those particular officials after Jinn's release. In a concise statement, the Commission pointed out that its priorities lie in encouraging local productions and attracting outside productions to the region, and they're not invested in censoring the productions they're involved with.
Plus, the statement points out that Netflix is a subscription service and not an open platform, meaning its viewers had to make the choice to actively engage in watching Jinn, a completely fictional TV series. According to the Media Commission officials, the fact that people are arguing over what the show reflects is even a sign of positive diversity and conversation-starting.
You can check out the trailer for Jinn below.
Thankfully, most of Netflix's originals don't have to worry about any potential legal ramifications whenever people complain about them online. Something of an opposite effect can happen as well, however. Take Ava DuVernay's recent drama When They See Us, which dramatized 1989's highly controversial Central Park 5 court case, in which five innocent teenagers were convicted and jailed for the brutal rape of a young woman. Since that show's release, the case's real-life prosecutor Linda Fairstein has lost a book deal and more over the renewed backlash, and she responded in kind with a scathing Wall Street Journal op-ed.
What do you guys think? Do you think those who voiced their moral issues with Jinn have a point, or do you agree with others on social media who point out that this was very tame content in comparison to far bigger shows like Game of Thrones and others? It's all relative to one's location and upbringing, of course, so let's keep things positive.
Jinn Season 1 is currently available to stream in full on Netflix, with no word yet whether or not Season 2 could happen. Check out other big premieres from the month of June as well.