Netflix is facing conservative backlash over a Brazilian Christmas comedy special called “The First Temptation of Christ,” which depicts Jesus as gay.
Nearly 1.8 million users have signed a Change.org petition for the special to be removed from Netflix and for the Brazilian YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos (“Back Door”), which made the special, to be “held responsible for the crime of villainous faith.”
This is the season for controversy. “The First Temptation of Christ” — a Netflix Christmas comedy special that portrays a gay Jesus and a weed-spoking Mary — has sparked backlash. A petition has circulated demanding the special be pulled from the streamer on the grounds that it is offensive to Christians.
“The First Temptation of Christ” was created by Brazilian YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos. The 46-minute satirical special tracks Jesus coming home to his surprise birthday party with Orlando, his openly flamboyant friend. Despite Jesus’ attempts to conceal his friend, Orlando joins the party later and sings a quirky holiday bop that includes the lyrics: “In the heat of the desert I saw the size of his huge power.”
More than 1.8 million people have signed the petition that calls for the special to be prohibited and pulled from Netflix, and for Porta dos Fundos to apologize. Viewers have accused Porta dos Fundos of showing religious discrimination and “derision and disrespect for the faith of the Catholic Church and especially for God.”
“Christians and non-Christians have asked me to take action against the irresponsible members of Porta dos Fundo. It’s time we took a collective action — churches and all good people — to put an end to this,” the tweet reads in English.
The petition had yet to reach its goal of 3 million signatures as of press time.
One signatory — who claimed to cancel their Netflix subscription entirely in protest — wrote, “No one is obliged to believe in Jesus Christ, but we demand respect for our beliefs. Whoever disrespects my God does not deserve my money.”
Henrique Soares da Costa, bishop of Palmares, is calling for Christians to cancel their Netflix subscriptions.
Porta dos Fundos, which has more than 16 million YouTube subscribers, hasn’t been fazed by the criticism. Instead, they tweeted out a second petition calling the special “tragic” and “sad.”