NEW DELHI: A new Netflix Christmas Special titled "The First Temptation Of Christ", which shows Jesus Christ in a gay relationship and Mary as a weed-smoker, has angered millions all over the world, who have signed a petition demanding its withdrawal.
In India, too, a section of the Christian community has said the show should be axed immediately from Netflix domains all over the globe, and demanded unconditional apology from the streaming giant.
"As a member of the Christian community and follower of Christ, I join the rest of hundreds of thousands who have registered their protests calling for the Netflix Christmas Special depicting Jesus in a gay relationship to be axed immediately. Even though freedom of expression is a fundamental and a constitutional right, using the same liberty to offend the sentiments of the members of a particular faith persuasion is highly abhorrent and totally unacceptable," said Abraham Mathai, president, Indian Christian Voice.
"The film, besides being blasphemous, vulgar and disrespectful, should be pulled off forthwith without any further delay, as it is seriously and highly offensive to the Christian community worldwide. Netflix should follow the example set by Walmart by making a public apology to the Christian community world over by withdrawing the Christmas sweater which had an offensive message.
"Belittling and negating the deity and stature of a person who turned the world right side up with his exemplary character and impeccable integrity should not be entertained under any circumstances," Mathai added.
"The First Temptation Of Christ" has been created by Brazil-based YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos (which translates to 'Back Door'). The New York Daily News reports that the 46-minute Christmas Special depicts a weed-smoking Mary, and shows how Jesus comes home to attend his birthday party with a male friend. At the party, the friend belts out songs for Jesus that has lyrics as, "In the heat of the desert I saw the size of his huge ... power".
Over 1.1 million people have signed the petition globally so far.
Porto dos Fundos spoke of artistic freedom while defending its decision to create the special show. "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 group said in a statement.