Hungary Investigates Netflix over LGBT Kiss Scene in Kids Programme

Hungary’s national media regulator has launched an investigation into streaming giant Netlfix over a children’s cartoon that features a lesbian kiss between two teenage girls – a possible violation of its 2021 law prohibiting LGBT-themed material targeted at children.

Following complaints from concerned parents on the conservative petition site CitizenGo, the National Media and Communications Authority (NMHH) of Hungary announced that it would investigate Netflix over an episode in the children’s cartoon programme Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous. 

According to a report from the Magyar Nemzet national newspaper in Hungary, the series is marketed toward children as young as seven years old. During the ninth episode of the fifth season, a kiss between two teenage characters takes place and “to confirm the naturalness of the homosexual relationship, the young people’s family and friends also approve and support them in the story, saying how happy the two ‘girlfriends’ are together,” as the Hungarian paper relayed. 

While this apparently breaches the Hungarian law prohibiting trans and other LGBT content aimed children, it remains to be seen if the NMHH will be able to take legal action against Netflix over the cartoon, as Netflix Hungary is actually registered in the Netherlands, meaning that the Hungarian media regulator may have to raise the issue with Dutch authorities for any action to take place.

Hungary, which is one of the most socially conservative member-states of the European Union, has faced backlash over the 2021 law prohibiting schools and media from promoting homosexual or transgender content to children from both Brussels and much of the establishment media in the West, which typically characterises the law as the “Hungarian anti-LGBT law”.

A government spokesman defended the legislation at the time, saying: “There are contents which children under a certain age can misunderstand and which may have a detrimental effect on their development at the given age, or which children simply cannot process, and which could therefore confuse their developing moral values or their image of themselves or the world.”

However, the European Commission announced that it would sue the government in Budapest over the law for allegedly violating EU-level laws on media freedom.

Should the investigation into the children’s cartoon lead to legal proceedings, Hungary would not be the only government to have taken action against Netflix, with a grand jury in Texas in the United States indicting the streaming site on charges of child pornography for the 2020 film Cuties, which has been accused of sexualising young girls.

The backlash against Cuties has been attributed as a contributor to the decline in popularity of Netflix.

Moreover, while Hollywood has apparently refused to curtail content for the Hungarian youth audience, companies such as Disney have not been afraid to censor content to meet religious standards in the Middle East, with a lesbian kiss being removed from the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker film in many Islamic countries.

Disney also kowtowed to the strict censorship rules in Singapore and cut the kiss there as well.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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