Brazil Reverses Netflix Ban on Gay Jesus Movie 'The First Temptation of Christ'

A Netflix movie that depicts Jesus Christ as a homosexual will end up streaming in Brazil after all. The film, The First Temptation of Christ, was banned by a judge earlier this week. However, the BBC reports that Supreme Court president Dias Toffoli overturned the ruling, stating it should be available to audiences in the name of free speech.

"One cannot suppose that a humorous satire has the ability to weaken the values of the Christian faith, whose existence is traced back more than two thousand years, and which is the belief of the majority of Brazilian citizens," Toffoli said.

The plot involves Jesus as he takes his new boyfriend, Orlando, to meet his parents, Mary and Joseph, who are busy planning their son a 30th birthday party. It was pitched Christmas special for the streaming service and was produced by the Brazilian YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos.

After its premiere on Dec. 3, Netflix was widely criticized by some of the country's more Christian residents did not take kindly to the film throughout its production. A petition to ax the film got roughly two million people to sign it, and the production was even attacked with Molotov cocktails in December.

Among the film's opposers are Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of Brazil's far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who referred to it as "garbage." Conservative evangelical pastor Marco Feliciano was another prominent figurehead who didn't hesitate to get vocal about his opposition.

"Christians and non-Christians have asked me to take action against the irresponsible members of Porta dos Fundo," he tweeted. "It's time we took a collective action -- churches and all good people -- to put an end to this."

Joining Feliciano was Henrique Soares da Costa, bishop of Palmares, called for people to cancel their Netflix subscriptions. In a tweet, de Costa wrote he "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."

Amidst the outcry, The First Temptation of Christ creator Fábio Porchat defended the 46-minute feature in a statement given to Variety.


"It doesn't incite violence, we're not saying people shouldn't believe in God," his statement began. "They [Netflix] haven't said anything to us like, 'Maybe we should stop making the special available.' They support freedom of speech."

The First Temptation of Christ is available to stream on Netflix now.