Netflix forced to pull ‘Designated Survivor’ episode In Turkey to comply with Government demand
Netflix has been forced to remove an episode from its political thriller series 'Designated Survivor' in Turkey, in compliance with the censor board of Turkey, which in turn is controlled by the Government of Turkey.
The offending episode (from the Turkish point of view) is episode seven from Season 2 of the show, which shows a fictitious Turkish president as the antagonist. The episode was chopped off only in Turkey and is streaming in other parts of the world.
Said Netflix, in a statement to the media, about the axing of the episode, "Following a demand from the Turkish regulator, we have removed one episode of Designated Survivor from Netflix in Turkey only, to comply with local law."
Designated Survivor is a political drama, headlined by Kiefer Sutherland, who plays fictitious U.S. president Tom Kirkman in the series. It is produced by the Mark Gordon Company and Kinberg Genre but has been cancelled by Netflix after the third season. The show, for its first two seasons, was an ABC series, for which Netflix had international streaming rights.
This is not the first instance that Netflix has bowed to the wishes of the Government or censor board of a particular country and axed a show or episode. It had to axe its controversial comedy series The Last Temptation Of Christ in Singapore, and an episode of Hasan Minhaj's Patriot Act in Saudi Arabia, an episode in which Minhaj questioned the murder of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul.
Before the Designated Survivor melee, there have been nine instances when Netflix censored its content in keeping with the wishes of a country. The list was revealed by Netflix earlier this year and was widely shared in the media. Five censoring requests came from Singapore, and one each from Germany, New Zealand, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.
Interestingly, there have never been any censoring demands from the Indian government, despite the streamer having several shows on its platform that offended the sensibilities of certain sections of Indian society, Leila and Sacred Games being two of those.