There's a commonly held suspicion that the people most likely to want to ban a movie or TV show are usually the ones who haven't seen it, and a newly launched petition to Netflix to cancel their adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman 1990 novel Good Omens seems to offer solid proof.
The show stars David Tennant as Crowley, a demon, and Michael Sheen as Aziraphale, an angel. Both of our celestial protagonists have been living as rivals on Earth for millennia, but are forced into an unlikely alliance to prevent the coming of the Antichrist and imminent Armageddon.
Pratchett’s last request to Gaiman before he died was that he adapt the novel they wrote together. Gaiman wrote the screenplay and worked as showrunner on the adaptation, and all in all, from the three episodes I’ve watched so far, it’s a thoroughly entertaining romp in typical Pratchett fashion, as our surprisingly incompetent other-worldly beings bumble their way through their mission.
The US Return to Order campaign, however, an offshoot of the group the US Foundation for a Christian Civilisation, has failed to see the funny side. It has launched a petition, so far signed by more than 20,000 supporters, calling on Netflix to cancel the "blasphemous" show.
The petition says Good Omens is "another step to make satanism appear normal, light and acceptable" and "mocks God's wisdom".
They’re also not happy that God is voiced by a woman – Oscar-winner Frances McDormand, or that “this type of video makes light of Truth, Error, Good and Evil, and destroys the barriers of horror that society still has for the devil”.
They may have a point, but it seems highly unlikely they’ve actually watched the show to find out. Their fatal flaw in petitioning Netflix is that the show is actually, and always has been, on Amazon Prime.
Gaiman was among the first to see the funny side. He tweeted: “I love that they are going to write to Netflix to try and get #GoodOmens cancelled. Says it all really. This is so beautiful ... Promise me you won’t tell them?”
Good Omens is streaming in the UAE on Amazon Prime Video