Netflix has pulled an episode of “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” after receiving a legal complaint from Saudi Arabia. The episode, titled “Saudi Arabia,” had launched in October and was heavily critical of the country’s government.
The episode is still available in other countries and on YouTube.
In it, former “Daily Show” comedian Minhaj goes through a highly critical takedown of the Saudi government including the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman calling it corrupt in the wake of the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
“Now would be a good time to reassess our relationship with Saudi Arabia,” the comedian said in the pulled episode. “And I mean that as a Muslim, and as an American.”
A representative from Netflix told Fox News that the Saudi government cited Article 6 of the country’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law, which Deadline reports, prohibits “production, preparation, transmission, or storage of material impinging on public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy, through the information network or computers.”
The punishment for violation of this crime is reportedly a maximum of five years in prison as well as a potential $800,000 fine.
“We strongly support artistic freedom worldwide and only removed this episode in Saudi Arabia after we had received a valid legal request — and to comply with local law,” the company said in a statement to Fox News.
Netflix also stressed that it typically complies with the local laws of whatever countries its material streams in when and if there’s a complaint about the material.
Still, critics of the Saudi government say that the law suppresses free speech and can be used to jail those critical of the government in any public forum, including social media.