Jose Padilha’s latest series for Netflix, O Mecanismo (The Mechanism), is facing strong criticism in Brazil following its premiere.
The show focuses on the country’s corruption scandals and, specifically, the Lava Jato case, following which the former president Lula Da Silva was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
After the premiere of O Mecanismo on the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platform, politicians, including former president Dilma Rousseff, who was also impeached in 2016, and representatives of the film and culture industries called for a boycott on Netflix, as they believe the series is inaccurate and irresponsible.
In recent days, some viewers have also joined the campaign, mostly complaining on Twitter under the #DeleteNetflix hashtag. Critics are claiming to have deleted their subscriptions and are asking others to do the same.
José Padilha, renowned Brazilian director and creator of one of Netflix’s biggest hits, Narcos, is the main target of the criticism.
“The director invents facts. He doesn’t merely reproduce fake news. He has turned himself into a creator of fake news,” said Rousseff in a post on her website. “It would be like if a movie about the last moments of John Kennedy inserted a Lee Harvey Oswald character making accusations against the victim. Or a movie where Winston Churchill makes a deal with Adolf Hitler to attack the United States."
"When you dramatise reality, you anchor the drama in some places and not in others. This is true for both documentaries and works of fiction. The Mechanism isn't what has happened in Brazil ipsis litteris. It is inspired by real facts,” explained Padilha in an interview with the daily Folha de Sao Paulo.
So far, Netflix, which has in Brazil its largest market in Latin America, has published no official statement, instead posting a satirical video about corruption on social media.