Though some comedians preach that anything can be used as a joke, the thought of Jesus Christ being a closeted homosexual does not sit well with almost two million people.
A petition on change.org has racked up 1.7 million signatures for the ban of a new Netflix Christmas comedy, The First Temptation of Christ, which depicts Jesus as gay.
The site joins several others which are placing heat on the major streaming company to remove the film, following its December 3 premiere.
“They have seriously offended Christians.”— petition
“In favour of the removal of the film from the Netflix catalogue and for the Porta dos Fundos to be held responsible for the crime of villainous faith,” a message on the website reads. “We also want public retraction, as they have seriously offended Christians.”
Porta dos Fundos is a YouTube comedy group based in Brazil, and they are the creators of the satirical production.
Humour through satire
In response to the backlash, the comedians said: “We value artistic freedom and humour through satire on the most diverse cultural themes of our society and believe that freedom of expression is an essential construction for a democratic country.”
The 46-minute special unfolds with Jesus returning home for the holidays to turn-up for his birthday with his parents, Mary and Joseph. He takes along a male friend, Orlando, who insinuates that the two are more than just pals.
Netflix’s description of the film reads: “Jesus, who’s hitting the big 3-0, brings a surprise guest to meet the family. A Christmas special so wrong, it must be from comedians Porta dos Fundos.”
Freedom of expression
But the film (presumably a spoof off the 1988 film, The Last Temptation of Christ) has not struck the funny bone of many Brazilians. Many have flocked to social media to blast the production for its insensitivity towards Christians.
“We support freedom of expression, but is it worth attacking the belief of 86 per cent of the population?” Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of conservative Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, said.
The religious parody isn’t a first for Porta dos Fundos. In 2018, the comedy group released the Netflix special, The Last Hangover, a satirical spin on the final supper where the apostles wake up to find Jesus missing and are forced to revisit the events of the previous evening to find him.
We can all agree that finding a good Christmas movie is arguably as critical as finding a good gift. Classics like the 1990 film Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street (1994) and The Santa Claus (1994) are yearly favourites. By all indications, The First Temptation may have ruined its chances of making the cut, as it continues to graze the finish line of being the fastest, hated Christmas flick. Ouch!