The special, 'The First Temptation of Christ,' from a popular Brazilian comedy troupe, has outraged conservative Christians by poking fun at religious pieties and the Catholic Church with a gay Jesus and a pot-smoking Mary.
The Netflix Christmas comedy special, The First Temptation of Christ, from a popular Brazilian comedy troupe Porta dos Fundos, has outraged a number of conservative groups in the country with its depictions of a gay Jesus and a pot-smoking Mary.
Made in Brazil but available in other countries, including United States, the show is described by Netflix as “a Christmas special so wrong, it must be from comedians Porta dos Fundos.” The troupe has been a phenomenon in Brazil since its founding in 2011. In 2013, it became the largest comedy channel on Brazilian Youtube, where it currently has over 16 million subscribers. It has been doing Christmas specials since 2013, and in November won and International Emmy for the comedy special The Last Hangover.
In the new, 46-minute special, The First Temptation of Christ, Jesus Gregório Duvivier, returns home after 40 days in the desert on the day of his 30th birthday party, with a gay partner who turns out to be the Devil Fábio Porchat. The show pokes fun at immaculate conception, and presents God as Mary's seducer, behind Joseph's back.
A conservative Christian group, the Rio de Janeiro-based Cristo Rei League, issued a statement on Facebook condemning the show. The statement was posted by the league's president, Pedro Luiz de Affonseca, who wrote that “the Church is superior to democracy and to any and all political regimes and should not submit to them.” The League has also announced that it is suing Netflix and Porta dos Fundos. In a highly unusual move, it is asking for a specific fine of 2 million reais roughly $500,000, to be paid to the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, under Sergio Moro who oversaw the controversial corruption investigations into former Brazilian President Lula da Silva.
Statements from other religious groups, such as The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, followed suit. Meanwhile, a petition on change.org to cancel the show, which is circulating on Facebook and Twitter, has so far gathered 1.6 million signatures.
Porta dos Fundos issued the following statement in response to the controversy: “Porta dos Fundos values artistic freedom and humor through satire on the most diverse cultural themes of our society and believes that freedom of expression is an essential construction for a democratic country.”
Representatives for Netflix in Brazil declined to comment.
Brazil's conservative politicians, such as Márcio Marinho of the Chamber of the Deputies, have also weighed in on the controversy. Marinho posted a photo on his Facebook page with an image from the show's ads, with a messages over it in red, “#Netflixnão” Netflix no and “Religious intolerance is not freedom of expression.”
This isn't the the first time that Netflix has faced a boycott over LGBTQ-themed content in Brazil. In 2018, the streamer canceled the animated series, Super Drags, after one season, when the Brazilian Pediatric Society issued a note of condemnation. Conservative viewers protested the series, a superhero spoof in which gay protagonists turned into drag queens by night.
SPOILER ALERT: If you are among the few who haven’t actually watched Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries, this review contains a lot of details about what goes down in the sad big cat saga.
With Netflix poised in the coming days to cash in and crank the base up a notch with more Tiger King, it's time to come out and say it: I hate the Red State porn that is the crash and burn of Joe Exotic
The initial seven episodes of this septic and shallow patchwork of trademark infringement, sex, guns, labor exploitation, song, drugs, mullets, betrayal, animal activism, revenge, and a lot of big cats may be much binged over these weeks of coronavirus lockdown, but that doesn't mean it's actually worth watching.
Now, I get it, I sound like I'm just a dour critic who hates anything that isn't prestige premium cable or aspirational. C'mon man, you want to say, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is just so unbelievable, I can't look away.
I respectfully disagree, and in fact, propose Tiger King isn't just bad, but dangerous in a divided America persistently looking to reduce the other side to caricature.
In a presently ailing nation where TV is more voluminous and vital than ever, the truth is the March 20 launched Tiger King is a clawed white trash misery index. Gawking at some clearly fragile and damaged people like would-be reality TV star Exotic and their below the Mason-Dixon line antics, the series subsequently provides a cultural circus for those smug bicoastals under stay at home orders and screaming to rise up in moral superiority.
Essentially, the tale of big cat collector, self-styled Oklahoma zoo proprietor and 2016 Presidential candidate Exotic AKA Joseph Maldonado-Passage and his ultimately unsuccessful attempt to have rival Carole Baskin knocked off by a hitman hired for $3,000, Tiger King is in that context more a zero-sum game, literally and figuratively, than hitting the zeitgeist.
Obviously, Netflix are pretty damn good at gauging and dragging the public mood over the years, as the likes of the then phenomenon of 2015's Making A Murderer or 2018’s Wild Wild Country prove. Yet, for all the attention it has drawn, this unfocused murder for hire exploration of sorts emerges as a bastard child of Cops, a million Dateline segments from the 1990s and Fox’s short-lived Murder in Small Town X reality show from 2001.
Not exactly the prestige product that the home of Roma, The Irishman and American Factory likes to brag about at award shows. Then again, with the knowledge that the Romans sold out the Colosseum every night feeding Christians to the lions, the bottom line based House of Hastings surely loves the subscription sign up that the currently incarcerated Maldonado-Passage and the accompanying motley gaggle of...