By Jonny Tickle
Russia’s police will launch an investigation into streaming service Netflix after complaints from a “family protection” activist that the American company is spreading propaganda of “non-traditional sexual relations” among minors.
According to Moscow daily Vedomosti, Olga Baranets wrote to the authorities complaining about a number of TV shows, including Elite, Young Royals, and Sex Education.
Olga Baranets is the leader of a group named the “Public Commission for Family Protection,” which proclaims to support “the rights of families and children.” According to the activist, Netflix has broken the law.
In 2013, Russia enacted what is known colloquially as the “gay propaganda law,” which implemented restrictions on the endorsement of “non-traditional sexual values among minors.” In Baranets’ opinion, some movies and TV shows on Netflix are in violation of these legal requirements. Following the complaint, Russia’s Interior Ministry will conduct an investigation. If found guilty, Netflix could face a fine of up to 1 million rubles ($13,400).
Earlier this month, a Moscow court fined Russian music channel ‘Muz TV’ under the same law after a series of incidents during a music awards ceremony. The show made headlines after showing pop stars Philipp Kirkorov and Dava in a white car surrounded by topless male models. The channel also broadcasted video of blogger Igor Sinyak wearing a dress and social media star Danya Milohin donning a half-tuxedo half-dress combo.
The exact reason for the fine was not announced by media watchdog Roskomnadzor.
The “gay propaganda” legislation has been criticized internationally, with detractors both at home and abroad calling it an attack on LGBT rights. Ruling party politicians have even questioned the law, with then-MP Oksana Pushkina saying last year that state policy “needs to be adjusted.”
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