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Indians Are Angry at Netflix for Showing Censored Images of Pork and Nudity in ‘Vikings’

Netflix, where’s the chill?
02 June 2020, 8:59am
Indians Are Angry at Netflix for Showing Censored Images of Pork and Nudity in ‘Vikings’
Photo: Screenshot taken from Netflix

In a country where onscreen alcohol bottles are blurred out, every drag of a cigarette taken by an actor comes with a danger warning, and nudity, gore and cussing are quickly covered up with cuts or beeping sounds, Netflix had emerged as the saviour of the uncensored. The popular streaming platform is known to take bold stances with its content, especially with shows like Sacred Games that were criticised for being “Hindu-phobic” and compared to pornographic “blue films”. However, in a surprising plot twist, many users on Twitter began to call out Netflix for censoring not just nudity, sex and violence, but also pork dishes in the show Vikings.

Now, users are enraged that the platform they had major respect for because of its uninhibited content is falling prey to the pressures of censorship. Users have pointed out that this blurring of random images was especially strange given the show’s versions streamed by Netflix in Italy and even the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were not subject to the same level of censorship.

One of the reasons behind this censorship could be that Netflix got the licence to stream this show from the television channel History TV18, which already carried this censored version. Netflix may have bought this version so they could stream it with Hindi dubs to appeal to a wider audience in India.

Netflix previously censored the film Angry Indian Goddesses, stirring discussions over whether it was doing so to appeal to local governments and widen their reach—though they later released the uncut version after viewers complained. They allegedly didn’t buy a film titled S Durga (initially called Sexy Durga) to avoid hurting religious sentiments. Over the last year, there has been pressure from courts and authorities urging OTT platforms including Netflix and Amazon Prime to create a regulatory body for the content they release.

VICE reached out to Netflix for a comment on this controversy and asked whether they were feeling the pressures of censorship in India but they refused to give a statement.

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