#FreeFromCensorship: Netflix contradicts 'The Print' reports, denies censoring content
Streaming giant Netflix has denied reports that it is self-regulating its content after a meeting with the Information & Broadcast Ministry. Quoting government sources, The Print had reported that Netflix and the ministry reached a 'compromise' at the meeting which happened on October 25. However, Netflix told HuffPost the information was inaccurate and false. "Netflix was never in this meeting," the statement read.
The first report raised concerns about censorship in India
A government source reportedly told The Print, "Yes, there was a discussion of self-regulation and Netflix and Hotstar agreed that they should regulate their content." They, apparently, promised to come up with 'set of guidelines to self-regulate content.' It was reported that 21st Century Fox, Intel Sat, AFNT India, Intel India, Google, Star TV India, Apple, and the US-India Business Council also attended it.
But Netflix claims it never attended any meeting
However, the meeting didn't happen on October 25, as reported earlier, but on October 30. Moreover, at the meeting, self-regulation was not discussed. Three filmmakers, who have teamed up with Netflix, said they have not received any notification from the company about toning down possible controversial scenes. "We haven't been told anything to this effect," a writer developing a series for Netflix, told HuffPost.
Netflix's content have courted controversies in the past
Notably, the content of Netflix has ruffled a few feathers lately. The first Indian original series, 'Sacred Games', courted many controversies. One of them was the way former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was shown in it, which led to a complaint by a Congress worker. There were also concerns about the explicit content showed in the series, co-directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane.
Earlier, court ordered setting a pre-screening body
Further, Nagpur-based lawyer Divya Gontiya filed a PIL in the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court raising concerns about the gory content, sexually-explicit scenes, immodesty, and nudity in web-series, streamed on platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime. She claimed the 'pornographic content' overrode Indian morality. Acting on her complaint, the HC had asked the Centre to set up a pre-screening body to curb nudity.