A Brazilian Netflix comedy entitled The First Temptation of Christ, which depicts Jesus as gay, has been unbanned after it sparked an uproar in the country. Created by YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos, the controversial comedy was temporarily banned by Rio de Janeiro judge Benedicto Abicair on Tuesday. However, the ruling has now been overturned by Supreme Court president Dias Toffoli on Thursday.
Freedom of speech was cited as a reason to allow Netflix to continue streaming The First Temptation of Christ, which was released on the platform just before Christmas. "One cannot suppose that a humorous satire has the ability to weaken the values of the Christian faith, whose existence is traced back more than two thousand years, and which is the belief of the majority of Brazilian citizens," Toffoli said upon announcing the removal of the ban.
Porta dos Fundos had their headquarters attacked with a molotov on Christmas Eve after over two million people signed a petition to ban the special. No one was hurt, but a video showed three men claiming responsibility for the attack just days later. Police identified Eduardo Fauzi as the man who attacked the comedy group's headquarters, although he has since reportedly fled to Russia.
Despite the announcement of the ban earlier this week, Netflix released a statement siding with the creators. "We strongly support artistic expression and we will fight to defend this important principle, which is the heart of great stories," a spokesperson for the streaming platform told AFP. Brazil's far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has routinely criticized the Supreme Court for siding with LGBTQ+ rights.
At one point, Bolsonaro claimed he would rather have a dead son than a gay son.