The star of Netflix's Christmas special featuring a gay Jesus called the backlash 'homophobic,' as a petition calling for its removal approaches 2 million signatures
- Fábio Porchat, the star of the Netflix Christmas comedy special "The First Temptation of Christ," which depicts Jesus as gay, told Variety that the conservative backlash was "homophobic."
- "God is black and white and gay and straight," Porchat said. "God is everything."
- A Change.org petition calling for the special's removal has nearly 2 million signatures.
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The star of the Netflix Christmas comedy special "The First Temptation of Christ," which depicts Jesus as gay, has weighed in on the conservative backlash.
Fábio Porchat - who is also the cofounder of the Brazilian YouTube comedy group behind the special, Porta dos Fundos - told Variety that the criticism was "homophobic."
"For some Catholics here in Brazil, it's okay if Jesus is a bad guy, uses drugs, that's no problem," Porchat said. "The problem is he's gay. No, he can't be gay. And that's interesting because Jesus is everything. God is black and white and gay and straight. God is everything. It's more homophobic to be insulted by a gay Jesus than to make Jesus special."
The Netflix description for "The First Temptation of Christ" says that Jesus "brings a surprise guest to meet the family." Porchat plays Orlando, the "surprise guest."
The 46-minute, Portuguese-language special first debuted on Netflix Brazil on December 3. Since then, the backlash from many conservative Christians has been immense, with one Change.org petition calling for its removal nearing 2 million signatures on Tuesday morning. The petition also calls for Porta dos Fundos to "be held responsible for the crime of villainous faith."
Another petition from the conservative group CitizenGo has over 500,000 signatures.
Porchat told Variety that Netflix, which has a stake in Porta dos Fundos along with Viacom, stands by the special.
"[Netflix hasn't] said anything to us like, 'Maybe we should stop making the special available,'" Porchat said. "They support freedom of speech."
Netflix declined to comment about the backlash on Monday, but Porta dos Fundos released a statement, saying the group "values artistic freedom and humor through satire on the most diverse cultural themes of our society and believes that freedom of expression is an essential construction for a democratic country."
Netflix hasn't removed other content after conservative backlash, such as the animated drag queen superhero series "Super Drags" and the the Argentinian movie "Desire," which critics argued depicted "child pornography" because a young girl accidentally experiences an orgasm.
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