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Netflix removes drug-related film, series from Singapore service after takedown demands from IMDA

Netflix removes drug-related film, series from Singapore service after takedown demands from IMDA

The Netflix logo is seen on their office in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files

SINGAPORE: Streaming giant Netflix removed two shows with drug-related content from its platform in Singapore, following written takedown demands from the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). 

In its annual Environmental Social Governance report, Netflix said IMDA had requested they remove the series Cooked with Cannabis and the film Have A Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics in May and August 2020 respectively. 

In response to CNA queries, an IMDA spokesman said over-the-top service providers in Singapore are expected to abide by the agency's content code for over-the-top, video-on-demand and niche services. 

"Singapore has a zero-tolerance stance against drugs," said the spokesman. 

"The content code serves to protect the young from unsuitable content (including inappropriate content that glorifies or encourages drug and substance abuse), maintain community norms and values, and safeguard public interests, while allowing adults to make informed choices."

Netflix's content library is tied to geographic locations typically due to copyright deals or local censorship laws.

Cooked with Cannabis is a competitive cooking series produced by Netflix where chefs make cannabis-infused meals. Have A Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics is a documentary film featuring a series of interviews with celebrities about their experience with psychedelic substances. 

Netflix removed four titles since its last report in Feb 2020: The two in Singapore and another two in Turkey, the platform said in the report. 

In 2018, Netflix removed the shows Cooking on High, The Legend of 420 and Disjointed from its service in Singapore, following demands from IMDA, it said in its previous report. 

In 2019, it also received a written demand from IMDA to remove Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation Of Christ - which is banned here - from the platform in Singapore. 

Netflix also complied with demands to remove The Last Hangover, a biblical parody of the film The Hangover, in 2020. 

Source: CNA/hw(rw)

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