Netflix accused of violating Russian law, investigation launched

Content distribution is a tough nut to crack especially when platform owners have to comply with the myriad laws around the world while balancing the demands of users.

However, it appears as if Netflix has fallen foul of Russian lawmakers as officials in the country have said they are investigating the video-on-demand platform.

This comes after the public commissioner for protecting families, Olga Baranets, accused Netflix of distributing LGBTQIA+ content to viewers younger than 18-years old. In Russia the law states that “propaganda on non-traditional sexual relations” can only be broadcast to Russians 18-years old and older.

The Moscow department of Interior Ministry is considering Baranets’ appeal according to a report from Reuters.

While Netflix could face a fine of up to one million rubles, the worse situation is that could find its service temporarily suspended in Russia.

The issue of LGBTQIA+ and Netflix is not a new one. Recently the platform came under fire after it released Dave Chappelle’s comedy special The Closer. In that performance Chappelle made several jokes at the expense of the LGBTQIA+ community and they didn’t land with a large group of people.

Many LGBTQIA+ Netflix employees expressed their displeasure at the special and how Netflix reacted to those employees speaking out. One employee, Terra Field, was suspended only to be quickly reinstated by Netflix.

As for Netflix in Russia, we await the findings in the Russian investigation and more importantly, how Netflix reacts.


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