More Than A Million People Have Signed A Petition Demanding Netflix Take Down Show Depicting Jesus As A Gay Man
A new Brazilian comedy entitled The First Temptation of Christ debuted on Netflix this month. Now 1.8 million people have signed a petition to have the special removed. President Jair Bolsonaro’s son, the National Conference of Bishops in Brazil, and other religious affiliates have even chimed in to condemn the satire.
The 46-minute film portrays Jesus in a same-sex relationship with his friend Orlando. The movie was made by the International Emmy Award-winning YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos or Back Door. In the satire, Jesus must introduce Mary and Joseph to his boyfriend Orlando at his 30th birthday party.
Viewers are furious that Jesus is depicted as gay in The First Temptation of Christ
“Good afternoon to everybody except Netflix for making a Christmas movie about a gay Jesus (yes, seriously),” an angry Twitter user wrote.
Over 1.8 million people have signed a Change.org petition to have the film removed from Netflix. The special is Porta dos Fundos’ second satirical look at the life of Jesus and many viewers are fuming. The petition described the comedy troupe’s faith as “villainous.”
“Horrible! Disappointed with Netflix and Porta dos Fundos!!! Now it’s on to Amazon Prime!!!” Someone commented on YouTube. “Whoever disrespects my God does not deserve my money,” another viewer said.
A bishop from Pernambuco, Henrique Soares da Costa complained on Facebook that he was canceling his service and called the movie “blasphemous, vulgar, and disrespectful.”
“In favor of banning the Christmas movie from the “Porta dos Fundos” (“Back Door”) which is titled “The First Temptation of Christ,” the petition description reads. “In favor of the removal of the film from the NETFLIX catalog and for the Porta Dos Fundos to be held responsible for the crime of villainous faith. We also want public retraction, as they have seriously offended Christians.”
However, while the Change.org petition is the largest, it wasn’t the only one. A CitizenGo petition garnered 240,000 signatures and claims The First Temptation of Christ is a “clear attack to Christianity.”
“It is an absolutely unacceptable provocation,” the CitizenGo petition said. “No one has the right to attack the faith of millions of people around the world. This type of supposed ‘shows’ only cause one thing: numbing the population to attacks against Christians.”
Brazilian politicians and officials speak out against the film.
President Jair Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo lambasted the film on Twitter. Like most members of the right-wing, Eduardo somehow managed to connect the incident to Karl Marx.
“We support freedom of expression, but is it worth attacking the belief of 86% of the population?” Eduardo wrote, later adding. “Not satisfied with interpreting Jesus Christ as gay and refusing to speak of God on Netflix, now @gduvivier went beyond. Wrote an article in @folha posing as Jesus, portraying the son of God again as gay and advocate of Karl Marx and having the reader ‘take it in the a**’.”
If Porta dos Fundos were trying to create controversy, they certainly got their wish. Other members of the Brazilian right expressed their disapproval of the film on social media and in press releases.
“Christians and non-Christians have asked me to take action against the irresponsible members of Porta dos Fundo,” the far-right, anti-LGBTQ Brazilian pastor and congressman from São Paulo Marco Feliciano said on Twitter. “It’s time we took a collective action — churches and all good people — to put an end to this.”
The National of Conference of Bishops in Brazil released a statement saying the special vilifies Christianity.
“Nothing allows anyone the right to vilify people’s deeply held beliefs. The right to freedom of expression does not nullify respect for people and their values,” the statement read.
Porta dos Fundos releases a statement amidst the controversy.
“Enquanto tá rolando abaixo assinado contra, a gente comemora o sucesso de mais uma criação de Deus: nosso Especial de Natal @NetflixBrasil ‘A Primeira Tentação de Cristo’ continua cada vez mais poderosíssimo,” Porta dos Fundo said in Portuguese.
The comedians have continued to mock the polarizing response on Twitter, even dropping a link to the petition against them to anyone who wants to join.
“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,” the comedy group said in a statement to the Daily News.
The group snagged their first International Emmy Award for best comedy web television special for a different film making light of Christianity called The Last Hangover. The comedy portrays Jesus’ disciples looking for after a drunken Last Supper. The first film did not receive the same backlash despite its blasphemous imagery and themes, but Jesus wasn’t queer in that film.