Philippines orders Netflix to remove spy drama episodes showing China’s illegal 9-dash line


Patricia Lourdes Viray –

November 2, 2021 | 8:22

MANILA, Philippines – Netflix has released two episodes of an Australian political drama after a complaint filed by the Philippine government over its description of China’s illegal claims in the South China Sea, part of which is the West Philippine Sea.

On Monday evening, the Foreign Office confirmed that the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) had decided to remove episodes of “Pine Gap” in its September 28 decision.

“After careful consideration, the Council has decided that certain episodes of ‘Pine Gap’ are not suitable for public display,” the DFA said in a statement.

Following the ruling, the MTRCB ordered Netflix to immediately remove the relevant episodes.

The move came after a DFA complaint as the Australian series shows a nine-dash map of China’s claim to the South China Sea and violates Philippine sovereignty.

This request was invalidated by the arbitration award of July 2016 which ruled in favor of Manila, which Beijing continues to ignore.

As of Tuesday morning, two episodes of Pine Gap are no longer available in the Philippines.

On its video streaming platform, Netflix said the episodes had been “deleted at the request of the government.”

Citing the MTRCB ruling, the DFA stressed that the Australian show’s portrayal of China’s illegal nine-dash line was “no accident as it was consciously designed and calculated to specifically convey a message that China’s nine-dash line legitimately exists. “

“Such a portrayal is a clever attempt to perpetuate and commemorate in the consciousness of the present generation of viewers and generations to come the illegal nine-dash line,” the DFA said, quoting the MTRCB.

The MTRCB also denounced China’s “unconventional approach” to gaining the upper hand over the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea issue using this medium.

Earlier this year, Netflix also cut the entire series in Vietnam for the same issue.

According to a Reuters report in July, the Hanoi Broadcasting and Electronic Information Authority declared that Netflix’s violations “angered and hurt the feelings of all the Vietnamese people.”

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