Indonesia’s IT Ministry wants Netflix to stop streaming original content from other countries to make way for ‘Indonesian creatives’

Indonesia’s Communications and Information Minister Johnny G Plate. Photo: Twitter/PlateJohnny
Indonesia’s Communications and Information Minister Johnny G Plate. Photo: Twitter/PlateJohnny

Does anyone think that a single country can enforce protectionist policies against the global behemoth that is Netflix? Indonesia’s Communications and Information Minister Johnny G Plate seems to think so. 

Yesterday, Johnny spoke to the media about a recent conversation he said he had with representatives of the streaming giant, which supposedly touched on the kinds of content he thinks should be made available by Netflix in Indonesia.

“We asked Netflix to please use creative products from [Indonesia], because there are many capable of making films for distribution [on Netflix],” Johnny said, as quoted by Kompas.

In a further push to promote Indonesian creatives, Johnny said Netflix ought not to air its original series (might we venture a guess that our minister is not a fan of Stranger Things?) or films produced by countries that are not Indonesia. The minister added that Netflix should work with the country’s filmmakers to create original content. 

It seems plausible that Johnny might not be aware that Indonesia already has a Netflix Original in Timo Tjahjanto’s The Night Comes For Us, which Netflix started streaming internationally since October 2018. In addition, there are currently dozens of Indonesian films streaming on Netflix. 

At any rate, the minister did not say how Netflix responded to his suggestions. But here’s a thought: maybe the Indonesian government should worry less about what content is available on Netflix, and focus more on making the streaming service available to all internet users in Indonesia.

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