Netflix has the Turkish series If Only canceled due to criticism from local authorities of a gay character in the series.
The eight-part series was announced in March this year and created by Turkish production company Ay Yapim, starring actor Özge Özpirinçci in one of the lead roles. Still, the streaming giant decided to pull the plug on the project after it was revealed that movie permits were not being awarded due to the sexual orientation of one of the characters.
According to Financial Times translation If Only-maker Ece Yörenç to the Turkish website Altyazi Fasikul let know: “Due to a homosexual character, the film permits have not been issued, which is very frightening for the future.” Financial Times recovered from local authorities and spoke to a spokesperson for the current Justice and Development party, who confirmed concerns have been raised about If Only.
Entertainment website Deadline has been told by Netflix that they would rather stop the project than leave the creative process to influence. However, a Netflix spokesperson did not immediately respond to the situation, but said: “Netflix remains very closely involved with the Turkish members and the creative Turkish community. We are proud to be able to work with great talent. At the moment some Turkish originals are in production and a few more are coming, we are looking forward to share stories with members from all over the world. “
After the news of the cancellation has If Only-showrunner Yörenç retweeted a quote from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who said in 2018 in Turkish newspaper Hürriyet not to worry about censorship in the country. “We are in Saudi Arabiae. We are in Pakistan. If there are no problems there, will we get them in Turkey? I can’t imagine that. “