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Netfix CEO defends decision to pull Patriot Act episode critical of Saudi government

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"We're not in the news business, we're not doing truth to power, we're trying to entertain," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in defence of the company's decision to pull an episode of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj from Saudi Arabia at the New York Times' Dealbook conference. Patriot Act's second episode — pulled in January — focused on Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It criticised the Saudi government's reaction to Khashoggi's brutal death, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen. The Saudi government had said that it violated the kingdom’s anti-cyber crime law. “We can accomplish a lot more by being entertainment and influence the conversation about the way people live, rather than being another news channel." — Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Some lines would not be crossed: Hastings said that if some country opposed LGBTQ programming and asked Netflix to remove them, it would not do so. He also said that the Saudi government allows Netflix to stream provocative narrative shows like Sex Education without edits. But where and how does Netflix draw this line? It appears that each of the decisions are made depending on the business interests, appeal of such decisions (to American citizens), and which country is making the demand for such a removal. It is worth noting that when the episode was pulled earlier this year, Netflix had said that, "We strongly support artistic freedom worldwide and only removed this episode in Saudi Arabia after…

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