While it’s likely quite little compared to what Netflix has in the coffers, it can’t be comfortable knowing their services are currently under investigation by the Russian government. According to Vedomosti, the company may also face a temporary suspension of its service if found in violation of the law.
Olga Baranets, the public commissioner for protecting families, accused the company of breaking the 2013 law that bans disseminating “propaganda on non-traditional sexual relations” to Russians under the age of 18. Her appeal reportedly is being considered by the Moscow Department of the Interior Ministry.
The Russian federal law “for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values” has been repeatedly condemned by human rights organizations including Article 19 and Amnesty International. There has also been an international consensus that the law violates the European Convention of Human Rights, which Russia did ratify.
Vedomosti also reported earlier this month that Russia may ban streaming services from having shows and movies that depict “non-traditional sexual relationships and sexual deviations.” This would include pedophilia, exhibitionism, sadism, and masochism which would mean movies like Fifty Shades of Grey would not be available at all in the country.
This of course already includes homosexual sex of any kind which has resulted in censorship in the past for films like Rocketman and Happy Ends as well as television series Billions.
It will be interesting to see if Netflix is found in violation of the law and if they will be forced to pay the fine or have their services temporarily suspended in Russia.