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Netflix Series ‘Jinn’ Sparks Uproar In Jordan Over Alleged “Immoral Scenes”

Bruce Haring

Netflix’s first Arabic original series is causing an upset among some Jordanians, with a prosecutor asking the country’s cybercrimes unit to investigate it and take action.

The show, Jinn, is a young adult supernatural drama about magical genies in the ancient city of Petra. They must try and stop Jinn from destroying the world. The show is shot in Jordan and has five episodes.

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The controversy is over two scenes in which female actor Salma Milhis kisses two different boys in separate scenes, a shocking move in the conservative country. Others complained online about the show’s rough language.

The series comes from exec producers Elan and Rajeev Dassani, who are the VFX specialists behind a raft of hit US series, such as Scandal and Justified. It is produced by Master Key Productions and Kabreet Productions.

Salma Malhas stars as Mira, a rebellious teen still devastated after the loss of her mother who learns to love again when she meets Keras, played by Hamzeh Okab, the Jinn who is tasked with guarding vigilante Jinns. Sultan Alkhail plays Yassin, who struggles with a world that seems stacked against him, and the show will follow his coming of age story sparked by his supernatural friendship with Vera, played by Aysha Shahaltough.

After the show’s release last week, a top Jordanian prosecutor asked the Ministry of the Interior’s cybercrimes unit to take “immediate necessary measures to stop the broadcast,” citing its alleged”immoral scenes.”

The controversy led Jordan’s Media Commission to issue a statement saying it had no control over the production of the series. The Commission said it role as state censor only applies to TV broadcasts and theater presentations, not streaming services.

The state-run Royal Film Commission also weighed in as well, saying there was nothing it could do.

Netflix Middle East characterized the uproar on Twitter as a “wave of bullying.”  It said the show deals with “universal themes” that “can be viewed as provocative.”


 

 

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