Netflix has pulled an episode of “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” in Saudi Arabia after receiving a complaint from the country’s government, according to the Financial Times newspaper.
The U.S. streaming service took down the episode, entitled “Saudi Arabia,” following a request from the country’s Communications and Information Technology Commission as it allegedly violated anti-cybercrime law, the FT reported Sunday.
Netflix and the Saudi IT regulator were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC. However, Netflix told the FT: “We strongly support artistic freedom worldwide and only removed this episode in Saudi Arabia after we had received a valid legal request — and to comply with local law.”
The episode in question takes aim at the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi regime, as well as Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Minhaj, the titular U.S. comedian who hosts the series, says in the episode that “now would be a good time to reassess our relationship with Saudi Arabia.”
Minhaj, known for his work on “The Daily Show,” was not immediately available for comment on the episode’s removal.
Former Washington Post journalist Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October. The kingdom initially denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s death, saying Khashoggi had left the consulate unharmed. Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor later admitted the murder was “premeditated.”
The government has said that the murder was carried out by rogue killers, but denies a CIA assessment tying the Saudi leader to Khashoggi’s death. The country has charged 11 people with the murder.
You can read the full Financial Times report here.