Why Netflix Pulled 'Designated Survivor' Episode in Turkey

Netflix has pulled an episode of Designated Survivor from its platform in the country of Turkey. The episode in question, "Family Ties," depicts the president of the country as a villain, and was demanded to be pulled from rotation by Turkish censors, according to Variety.

"Following a demand from the Turkish regulator, we have removed one episode of Designated Survivor from Netflix in Turkey only, to comply with local law," the statement read. It added that "is still available on our service in the rest of the world." The Season 2 installment features actor Troy Caylak as fictional president Fatih Turan, who comes under fire during a visit to the U.S. for a NATO convention. Part of the decision stems from the streamer's significant investment in Turkey as it continues to expand its global footprint.

Currently, Netflix backing original productions like The Protector and The Gift, both of which have been distributed outside the country's borders. Also worth noting that the country's TV market is among the world's top exporters of drama series. It's not the first time the streaming service has complied with local government requests over its content.

In January of 2019, Netflix pulled an episode of Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj from Saudi Arabia after its government took issue with the comedian's comments on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. In 2017, it pulled the Vietnam War movie Full Metal Jacket from its platform at the request of that country's government.

The show was acquired by Netflix in September of 2018 after two seasons on ABC. It premiered on the streamer in June the following year, only to be canceled a month later. However, that third season ended up making headlines in March after a plotline that involved a widespread pandemic seemingly predicted the arrival of coronavirus.

0comments

Given the circumstances created by the pandemic, streaming services have seen a sharp spike in demand as more than a billion people worldwide were under some kind of Stay-at-Home mandates. It even launched a new feature that allowed for remote streaming parties. Although the company seemed aware this was all temporary.

"We're acutely aware that we are fortunate to have a service that is even more meaningful to people confined at home, and which we can operate remotely with minimal disruption in the short to medium term," a statement read at the time. "Like other home entertainment services, we're seeing temporarily higher viewing and increased membership growth."