Netflix refuses to bow to Turkish censorship over gay character

When Turkish govt demanded the removal of a gay character, Netflix opted instead to cancel the series outright.

Netflix has cancelled plans for Turkish drama If Only over government demands for the removal of a gay character.

Turkish authorities denied permission for production to take place after reviewing the script, in which one of the five characters was gay.

The production, by producers Ay Yapim, described as the story of “Reyhan who is unhappy and disappointed in her marriage with Nadir”

Netflix refused to change the script and opted instead to cancel production, while paying all pre–production costs.

Local reports in Turkey speculated that Netflix would pull all of its productions in the country, but this has been denied.

Earlier this year, local authorities issued a take down order for an episode of political thriller Designated Survivor, which streams on Netflix in Turkey. The government in Ankara claimed the show violated its censorship laws because of the depiction of a fictional Turkish leader, played by actor Troy Caylak, as a villain. Other LGBTQi-friendly shows such as Orange Is the New Black and Hollywood, air uncensored in Turkey.

Ay Yapim also produces another Netflix Turkey original, Love 101, which recently stirred controversy in Turkey when speculation began circulating on Twitter in April that a character on the show would be revealed to be gay. But a Netflix spokesman has confirmed the show does not have a gay character.

Homosexuality has been legal in Turkey since the founding of the modern Turkish state in 1923 but there are laws on the books regarding “offenses against public morality” which have been interpreted to be used against the local LGBTQ community.

Source: Variety, Hollywood Reporter

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