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Netflix ‘Gay jesus’ Movie Star Calls Protest Homophobic – Netflix Refuses To Remove Show

Star Behind Netflix Special With Gay Jesus Calls Backlash ‘Homophobic’

Porta dos Fundos has hit back at a backlash from Christians in Brazil over its Netflix 2019 Christmas Special, co-founder Fábio Porchat calling the protest “homophobic.”The reaction, which has seen 1.8 million signatures claimed for a petition calling on Netflix to pull the show, or the government to prohibit it, comes over a 45-minute special, “The First Temptation of Christ,” made available by Netflix on Dec. 3.Porta dos Fundos co-founder Fábio Porchat told Variety Monday that Netflix and Viacom, which took a majority stake in Porta dos Fundos in 2017, are standing by the special. “It doesn’t incite violence, we’re not saying people shouldn’t believe in God.”

“They [Netflix] haven’t said anything to us like, ‘Maybe we should stop making the special available.’ They support freedom of speech,” Porchat told Variety.

“The First Temptation of Christ” kicks off with Jesus, just 30, returning after 40 days in the desert with a new close friend, Orlando (played by Porchat), who is almost certainly gay, just as his family throws Jesus a surprise 30th birthday party.

The special features a very human God, whom Jesus still thinks at the beginning of the show to be his Uncle Vittorio. God claims he still has the hots for Mary. Mary is caught by God smoking a joint; and Joseph is still rabidly jealous of God. One of the Wise Men brings a prostitute to the party.

What’s really riled the protestors, however, Porchat told Variety, is the suggestion that the Jesus of the Special could be gay.

That, said Porchat, isn’t even totally clear. “We play at insinuating that Jesus has a new friend, and probably this new friend is gay, but they have just been having fun and a very good time in the desert for 40 days.”

“If anybody should be angry with us, it should be the gay community because a gay character turns out to be the Devil. But the gay community loves us!” Porchat said.

The Special makes no claims to historical accuracy whatsoever, piling on anachronisms, such as when God upstages poor Joseph who offers Jesus a wooden flute as a birthday present. God proceeds to unveil an electronic keyboard and offer to teach Jesus Beatles songs.

Jesus, for Porchat, comes out of the show very well: “The show is almost a Christian fairy tale: Jesus faces off bravely with the Devil and then chooses to follow God, accepting to be his son, Jesus Christ.”

“A lot of people, when they see the show, say: “Oh that’s what they were talking about? Ok, that’s O.K., they’re just having fun, no problem at all.”

Porchat added: “For some Catholics here in Brazil, it’s O.K. if Jesus is a bad guy, uses drugs: That’s no problem. 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.”

When Jesus is informed that Uncle Vittorio is in fact God, and he’s his son, he fantasizes about meeting a constantly bickering trio of Shiva, Buddha and Jah, who tell him to go for it. Allah is with them, but never seen, having disappeared behind a bush.

“People say that we don’t make fun of Islam,” said Porchat. “We do, we’ve satirized terrorists, for example. But they are trying to incite other people to violence, which for Catholics is a very un-Catholic thing to do,” he added, saying he “hated” Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, “but I don’t think he should have been stabbed. That’s not democratic, it’s Medieval.”

Netflix facing backlash over comedy special with gay Jesus

“The First Temptation of Christ,” a Brazilian Netflix Christmas comedy special, portrays a gay Jesus and a weed-smoking Mary.
Image: Netflix's "The First Temptation of Christ," a Christmas comedy special that portrays a gay Jesus,

Netflix’s “The First Temptation of Christ,” a Christmas comedy special that portrays a gay Jesus,Netflix

LOS ANGELES — “The First Temptation of Christ” — a Netflix Christmas comedy special that portrays a gay Jesus and a weed-smoking Mary — has sparked a petition demanding that it be pulled as offensive to Christians.

“The First Temptation of Christ” was created by the Brazilian YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos. The 46-minute satirical special tracks Jesus’ coming home to his surprise birthday party with Orlando, his openly flamboyant friend. Despite Jesus’ attempts to conceal his friend, Orlando joins the party later and sings a quirky holiday bop that includes the lyrics “In the heat of the desert I saw the size of his huge power.”

More than 1.8 million people have signed the petition, which calls for the special to be prohibited and pulled from Netflix and for Porta dos Fundos to apologize. Viewers have accused Porta dos Fundos of religious discrimination and “derision and disrespect for the faith of the Catholic Church and especially for God.”

Marco Feliciano, a conservative evangelical pastor who is president of the Brazilian Legislature’s Commission on Human Rights and Minorities, tweeted his disdain for the special.

“Christians and non-Christians have asked me to take action against the irresponsible members of Porta dos Fundo. It’s time we took a collective action — churches and all good people — to put an end to this,” the tweet reads in English.

The petition had yet to reach its goal of 3 million signatures by Monday afternoon.

One commenter — who claimed to cancel their Netflix subscription entirely in protest — wrote: “No one is obliged to believe in Jesus Christ, but we demand respect for our beliefs. Whoever disrespects my God does not deserve my money.”

Henrique Soares da Costa, the Catholic bishop of Palmares, called for Christians to cancel their Netflix subscriptions.

Porta dos Fundos, which has more than 16 million YouTube subscribers, hasn’t been fazed by the criticism. Instead, it tweeted out a second petition calling the special “tragic” and “sad.”

“Porta dos Fundos 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,” the group, which has produced religious satires for years, said in a statement.

The group’s last Christmas special, “The Last Hangover,” won the International Emmy Award for best comedy web television special.

“The First Temptation of Christ” is still available to stream on Netflix.

Netflix didn’t immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.

Reuters contributed.

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