Imagine a story in which Jesus Christ shirked his religious obligations and instead pursued a career as… a gay juggler. That’s the basic plot of The First Temptation of Christon Netflix, a blasphemous Christmas special from Brazilian comedy group Porta dos Fundos. As you can imagine, First Temptation of Christ‘s depiction of a potentially gay Jesus isn’t sitting well with Evangelical Christians, more than 1.3 million of whom have since signed a Change.org petition calling for Netflix to remove the comedy. The petition, originally written in Portuguese, claims that the special has “seriously offended Christians,” and as such, Netflix and Porto dos Fundos must be “held responsible for the crime of villainous faith.”
The First Temptation of Christ, or Especial de Natal Porta dos Fundos: A Primera Tentação de Cristo in Portuguese, follows 30-year-old Jesus Christ as he returns to his parents’ house after 40 days in the desert. Mary and Joseph have gone all out for Jesus’ birthday bash, but when he arrives with his new friend Orlando, his family is introduced to a new side of him. While the Netflix Christmas comedy never explicitly identifies its central character as LGBTQ+, the implication is clear: there are multiple innuendos and hints about Orlando “giving it to him” and their “special” desert tryst.
Brazil’s large Christian population hasn’t taken kindly to the special’s insinuation that Jesus Christ was gay. Since the special was first released on December 3, more than 1.3 million people have signed apetition urging Netflix to remove the Christmas comedy. The petition (originally written in Portuguese, but translated into English) explains that the signees are calling “for the removal of the film from the Netflix catalog” and for Porta dos Fundos — translated to “Back Door” — “to be held responsible for the crime of villainous faith.” Reads the petition, “We also want public retraction, as they have seriously offended Christians.”
Porta dos Fundos and Netflix have yet to respond to the backlash, but if the official Netflix description of the special is any indication, it doesn’t seem like they care: “Jesus, who’s hitting the big 3-0, brings a surprise guest to meet the family. A Christmas special so wrong, it must be from comedians Porta dos Fundos.”