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Netflix stirs up controversy with "gay Jesus" holiday special

Photo credit:
Netflix

Comedy can be offensive, and the holiday special “The First Temptation of Christ” now streaming on Netflix may very well epitomize the definition of the word "irreverent."

Produced and performed by the Brazilian YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos, the special now available to stream, sees the son of God returning home “after 40 days in the desert with a new close friend, Orlando (played by Porchat), who is almost certainly gay, just as his family throws Jesus a surprise 30th birthday party.”

But some people are not finding the humor in it. 

A petition has been started and contains over 1.8 million online signatures asking that the special be removed from the streaming service because it's sacrilegious. But Porta dos Fundos co-founder Fábio Porchat says those critical of the storyline are "homophobic." 

“We play at insinuating that Jesus has a new friend, and probably this new friend is gay, but they have just been having fun and a very good time in the desert for 40 days,” said Porchat. “If anybody should be angry with us, it should be the gay community because a gay character turns out to be the Devil. But the gay community loves us!” 

“For some Catholics here in Brazil, it’s O.K. if Jesus is a bad guy, uses drugs: That’s no problem," he adds. "The problem is he’s gay. No, he can’t be gay. And that’s interesting because Jesus is everything. God is black and white and gay and straight. God is everything. It’s more homophobic to be insulted by a gay Jesus than to make Jesus special.”

Netflix is standing by the special says Porchat and has not approached him about taking it down. 

"The First Temptation of Christ" is presented in Portuguese with English subtitles. It is rated TV-MA.