Netflix Original Jinn faces criticism in Jordan for select scenes
Some Jordanians are up in arms about the new Netflix Original shot in Petra and Amman that hit the streaming service on Thursday. Jinn, the first Middle East Original drama, is a five-part series on the streaming service, and has come under fire almost immediately after its release.
State-run media reported how government officials had vowed to censor it for alleged “lewd scenes” and according to Arabian Business, Jordan’s army website revealed the cyber-crimes unit is attempting to pull it from Jordanian Netflix.
Given the outrage, the Royal Jordanian Film Commission and Netflix both issued a statement as well.
A statement from Netflix read: “Jinn seeks to portray the issues young Arabs face as they come of age, including love, bullying and more. We understand that some viewers may find it provocative but we believe that it will resonate with teens across the Middle East and around the world.”
إذا كانت هناك أي أسئلة أو تعليقات على المحتوى فيمكن التواصل مع قنواتنا بشكل مباشر.— Netflix MENA (@NetflixMENA) June 14, 2019
The Royal Film Commission Jordan tried to handle the situation with a clarification on its Facebook and Twitter pages pointing out that watching the series was an individual’s choice to make.
The statement said: “There is a wide discrepancy in people’s reactions and comments on Jinn – positive and negative – amongst Jordanians. Some attacked it for its boldness and for crossing some red lines, while others think that it reflects the reality of a certain age group from a certain societal component in Amman. These divergent opinions reflect the diversity of Jordanian society, and it is a positive diversity.”
It added: “Worth noting also that many of those who commented on Jinn haven’t seen it or have only seen excerpts of it, edited in a twisted manner and giving it a different bias.”
However, it stressed that it was taking all reactions seriously and sharing them with their Board of Commissioners.
There have been a plethora of reactions to the show on social media with some supporting the series and some completely against the portrayal of Arab youth.
jinn is literally a show representing life in amman, thats why people are irritated— Karam Qaddoumi (@QaddoumiKaram) June 13, 2019
I'd rather see all the shitty stuff you're talking about in Jinn than see women being abused and hit and mistreated in the Arab shows that you guys worship.— Leen Ismail (@leen_ismail) June 14, 2019
As for the first ever Arabic Netflix Original Series, Jinn is pretty good. Stop bantering about it having some cheesy scenes. All series do, get over it. The story itself was pretty fascinating, action-packed and suspenseful. Would definitely recommend it.— Ali Khair (@AliKhair77) June 13, 2019
The only thing abt jinn that i dont like is the language lol man no one talks like that esh fi its too vulgar— يُ (@anxiouscryptid) June 13, 2019
A sweet reminder that everyone’s slut shaming and hating on Salma Malhas (Mira from Jinn) when no one’s even mentioned Fahed? And there, ladies and gentlemen ,is your Arab culture— Ayah L. (@ayahlx) June 15, 2019
It's yet to be seen if there will be a formal reaction from the government but Netflix is so far standing behind the writers and the actors.