Hungary’s media regulator is taking on Netflix over the depiction of a same-sex kiss in the cartoon Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous, Politico reports. While the wholesome moment went largely under the radar for the rest of the world, Hungary is treating the brief kiss as it would dangerous propaganda.
Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous is an animated children’s series that follows a group of teenagers who are chosen for an exclusive dinosaur camping experience after beating a video game. In classic Jurassic Park style, the campers become stranded on the island once the dinosaurs break loose, and they are forced to band together to survive.
Two of those teens, Yaz Fadoula and Sammy Gutierrez, begin the adventure as unlikely friends—Yaz is a serious-minded athlete while Sammy is a chatty socialite. Their friendship turns antagonistic early on when Yaz discovers that Sammy is actually working as a spy for a corporation looking to steal the secrets of dinosaur bioengineering. Over the course of the series, the two slowly make up after surviving constant life-or-death scenarios. And after five seasons, the recent series finale had the two finally expressing their feelings for one another and kissing.
sammie and yas ⚢
from jurassic world camp cretaceous pic.twitter.com/bcLYTQ8moY
— home of lesbians (@theIesbianspace) August 15, 2022
For a kid’s show, it’s much more queer-friendly than the mainline Jurassic World franchise. And while the finale was widely praised as a happy ending for the characters, Hungary has chosen to weaponize the kiss in its war on the LGBTQ+ community.
The administration of Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has fueled a rise in what he himself refers to as an “illiberal” democracy. In addition to hypernationalism, the demonization of migrants, and a return to religious autocracy, this has involved the suppression of LGBTQ+ rights. In 2020, Orbán ended the legal recognition of transgender people, and in 2021, he introduced a law banning children and teenagers from accessing LGBTQ+ content in the media.
Hungary’s media regulator is now investigating whether Netflix violated this law, saying that it is obligated to do so over the number of complaints it has received. At the same time, this law has already been challenged by the European Commision for human rights violations, with seventeen other countries joining in the condemnation of the law. Last month, the European Commission announced that it would be taking Hungary to the EU’s highest court. The current investigation adds further evidence to the case against Hungary ahead of this trial.
In adopting the illiberal state model, Orbán praised the oppressive governments of China, Singapore, and Russia (who have upheld a ban on LGBTQ+ representation in the media since 2013). In turn, the US Republican Party has indicated that it views Hungary as a model government, adopting similar anti-LGBTQ+ laws and inviting Orbán to speak at the 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference.