Brazil judge rules Netflix must remove comedy portraying Jesus as gay
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A Brazilian judge has reportedly ruled that Netflix must remove a satire film that ignited controversy in the country for depicting Jesus as gay. 

Rio de Janeiro judge Benedicto Abicair issued a 40-page ruling on Tuesday, writing in his decision that keeping the film online in the country was “more likely to cause grave and irreparable damage," according to The New York Times

"The right to freedom of expression ... is not absolute," he added. The BBC noted that the ruling is only temporary as a final decision is deliberated. 

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Netflix filed a complaint with the Brazilian Supreme Court in light of the ruling.

"We strongly support artistic expression and we'll be fighting to defend this important principle, which goes to the heart of great storytelling," a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill.
 
The ruling came down amid escalating controversy over the film, "The First Temptation of Christ," and the production company which produced it. Centro Dom Bosco, a Brazilian Christian organization, blasted the film as "blasphemous" and filed a lawsuit against it. Eduardo Bolsonaro, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's son, also derided the film as "garbage," saying that its contents did "not represent Brazilian society."

The production company Porta dos Fundos reportedly became the target of a firebomb attack on Christmas Eve.

Abicair said that the decision to ban the satire film from Netflix would benefit Brazil's “majority Christian” society, the Times noted. The country is home to the largest Catholic population in the world.

David Miranda, an openly gay federal lawmaker in Brazil, told the Times that the ruling represented an attack on democracy. 

“We can’t forget that this attack is rooted in homophobia,” he said in a text message. “We’ll resist.”

The comments echoed previous ones made by Fábio Porchat, the star of the special, and one of the co-founders of Porta dos Fundos. In an interview with Variety last month, Porchat said that the outrage was "homophobic."

“For some Catholics here in Brazil, it’s O.K. if Jesus is a bad guy, uses drugs: That’s no problem," he said. "The problem is he’s gay. No, he can’t be gay. And that’s interesting because Jesus is everything. God is black and white and gay and straight. God is everything. It’s more homophobic to be insulted by a gay Jesus than to make Jesus special.” 

Updated at 3:18 p.m.