That episode, the comedy show’s second, slammed the Middle Eastern country following the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Released in October, it remains available on Netflix outside Saudi Arabia and worldwide on YouTube.
The move raises fresh questions about the limits of free expression online, but Netflix noted that this was a legal issue.
‘We strongly support artistic freedom worldwide and removed this episode only in Saudi Arabia after we had received a valid legal demand from the government — and to comply with local law,’ a Netflix spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
Hasan Minhaj on Wednesday tweeted a response saying that ‘the best way to stop people from watching something is to ban it, make it trend online, and then leave it up on YouTube.’
The Communications and Information Technology Commission didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
In October, Twitter reportedly suspended a bot network pushing a pro-Saudi Arabia message regarding Khashoggi.