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Why Netflix Pulled a Patriot Act Episode in Saudi Arabia

The episode commented on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Lindsay MacDonald

Comedians are landing themselves in hot water left and right these days!

The Financial Times reports that the second episode of Hasan Minhaj's Netflix series Patriot Act, titled "Saudi Arabia" has been pulled in -- you guessed it -- Saudi Arabia. The episode commented on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Minhaj was particularly critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"It blows my mind that it took the killing of a Washington Post journalist for everyone to go, 'Oh, I guess he's really not a reformer,'" Minhaj joked. "Meanwhile, every Muslim person you know was like, 'Yeah, no sh--. He's the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.' So now would be a good time to reassess our relationship with Saudi Arabia -- and I mean that as a Muslim and as an American."

Netflix pulled the episode after receiving a request from Saudi Arabia's Communications and Information Technology Commission, which claimed the Patriot Act episode violated anti-cybercrime laws. Said laws make it illegal to take part in the "production, preparation, transmission, or storage of material impinging on public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy, through the information network or computers."

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Basically, don't go criticizing the government or you'll get slapped with up to five years in prison and a fine of $800,000.

Netflix released a statement about the pulled episode, saying, "We strongly support artistic freedom worldwide and only removed this episode in Saudi Arabia after we had received a valid legal request -- and to comply with local law."

The episode may have been pulled from Netflix in Saudi Arabia, but the segment can still be viewed on the show's Youtube Channel. TV Guide reached out to Netflix for comment and will update this story when we hear back.

Patriot Act is currently streaming on Netflix.