While Netflix has become a giant in the world of streaming media and amassed a huge following, it has also managed to offend quite a few people along the way.
#CancelNetflix has been the recent trend these days.
Ever since the trailer for the French film, Mignonnes came out, popularly known as Cuties, a lot of people have come forth to criticize how Netflix has marketed this critically acclaimed movie.
But Cuties is not the first film on Netflix that garnered the wrong kind of attention for the streaming giant or sparked controversies.
Many other movies and TV shows faced backlash for various reasons and petitions were signed all over the world for Netflix to remove them from the streaming site.
Here is a list of 15 most controversial TV shows and movies on Netflix.
- 13 Reasons Why
The show is about a teenage girl who committed suicide and left 13 tapes for 13 people who were instrumental in her decision to take her own life.
13 Reasons Why was widely criticized for its depiction of teen suicide – especially the first season, with its 3-minute long graphic suicide scene from the season finale.
The scene was later removed from the streaming site.
- Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness
The true-crime documentary on zookeeper Joe Exotic – the Tiger King, faced severe backlash after it was released earlier this year.
Animal rights organization such as PETA has accused the showrunners for glamorizing the serious issue of animal abuse.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness being such a big success on the streaming site has been dubbed by many as unethical and a moral failure.
- 365 Days
The story of this Polish movie follows a woman who gets kidnapped by mafia personnel.
He gives her a year to fall in love with him, while she is held captive.
Many have criticized the movie, calling it “softcore porn.”
The movie has also been accused of eroticizing Stockholm syndrome and paints a bizarre picture in the name of a crime romance.
A petition was formed, calling for the removal of 365 Days, saying it “perpetuates the glamorization of rape culture.”
- Indian Matchmaking
This reality dating show portrays the behind the scenes details on what goes into making an Indian marriage happen.
Many have called it a “cesspool of casteism, colorism, sexism, and classism”.
Following a matchmaking service for Indians and Indian internationals, this show focuses on the bizarreness of marriage and wedding in the Indian society.
Indian Matchmaking has been accused of stereotyping, glossing over the darker aspect of matchmaking, and glorifying it to seem harmless.
When this Netflix show premiered, critics and viewers alike commented on its offensive and controversial statements and portrayals.
The lead character of the show undergoes a tremendous change from being fat to the next beauty queen, who takes revenge on those who wronged her.
This immediately started a petition, accusing the show of fat-shaming and triggering to people who have eating disorders.
Despite all the criticism faced by the show, Insatiable returned for a second season.
The story of a boy diagnosed with Autism has faced a lot of criticism for both casting a not-autistic actor in the lead as well as for having no autistic personnel behind the scenes for the show either.
The biggest criticism being a show cannot portray the narrative of an issue that none of them have intimate knowledge about.
People from the autistic community have shared that Atypical lead, Sam’s depiction”isn’t classic signs of autism — they’re violent, creepy, cruel and make the autistic character seem like a monster.”
- The First Temptation of Christ
The Brazilian movie, The First Temptation of Christ, created a huge uproar around the globe for portraying Jesus as a gay man, in love with his friend Orlando.
More than 2 million people signed a petition for Netflix to remove the movie from the site.
Although the apex court of Brazil allowed Netflix to go ahead with the movie, the son of Brazilian President, Eduardo Bolsonaro wrote: “We support freedom of expression, but is it worth attacking the belief of 86 percent of the population?”
Jinn is the first Arabic drama on Netflix, which unfortunately came under a lot of fire upon its release.
A large part of the Jordan community wasn’t excessively moved with the way that the main cast enjoyed immoral conduct, indulging in intimate relations, smoking, and drinking.
State-run media Arabian Business detailed how government authorities had promised to censor the show for its claimed “lewd scenes”.
The Netflix thriller was canceled after the first season after accusation floated about the show being anti-Islamic.
Jordan even asked Netflix to avoid streaming the series in the country.
A petition calling for a boycott for Messiah has been making the rounds on many platforms, blasting the series as “evil” and having “anti-Islamic propaganda.”
Some have commented that while Westerners might not be able to distinguish between Messiah and Masih, Netflix is an international platform was bound to spark controversy.
- Cooking on High
The show came under a lot of fire, especially in Singapore where there are some of the world’s toughest drug laws.
Netflix was forced to remove Cooking on High from the streaming site in Singapore because of a written demand from Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority.
The city has a zero-tolerance policy on illegal drugs and according to many; hundreds of people have been hanged for drug offenses over the past decades.
For a show that insists on being sex-positive and keen on eliminating the stigma encompassing alternative sexualities and sex work, Bonding appears to be more intent on cultivating unsafe stereotypes about fetishes and sex workers.
Someone who is part of the BDSM community wrote: “The inaccuracies feed the stigma of BDSM & it doesn’t really show what the life of a dominatrix is like at all.”
- The Devil Next Door
Based on the true-crime series about an alleged Nazi extermination camp guard John Demjanjuk, also known as Ivan the Terrible, The Devil Next Door was scrutinized by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
He showed his disapproval for the incorrect portrayal of nazi camps, which demonstrated them to be set as a part of present-day Poland on the map.
Netflix was forced to make appropriate changes to the documentary thereafter.
- Bird Box
The movie Bird Box faced criticism after it used footage of a real-life train accident that took the life of 47 people.
The director was forced to take the scene off the streaming site after a huge outcry.
Also, the infamous “Bird Box Challenge” which had people doing everyday tasks while being blindfolded was a reason for alarm in many countries.
Netflix issued several statements asking the public to not take part in such tasks after multiple mishaps.
- Wild Wild Country
The documentary series faced a lot of backlash after its release for leaving out key aspects of Osho – Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s exploits, including sexual abuse of women and children alike.
The great guru, spiritual teacher and mystic, or the dangerous cult leader, master criminal and terrorist, this documentary of Osho has everything.
Wild Wild Country is the story of the sex cult with numerous unimaginable sub plots that threatened the American way of life.
An 11-year-old French Senegalese Black girl’s story faced tremendous criticism after Netflix released the first trailer for Cuties.
Viewers accused Netflix of “sexualizing” young girls and “feeding pedophilia”.
Actor Tessa Thompson tweeted: “#CUTIES is a beautiful film… It introduces a fresh voice at the helm. She’s a French Senegalese Black woman mining her experiences. The film comments on the hyper-sexualization of preadolescent girls. Disappointed to see the current discourse.”