Fact check: Documentary on PM Shehbaz’s alleged corruption is produced independently, not by Netflix

Fact check: Documentary on PM Shehbaz’s alleged corruption is produced independently, not by Netflix

The film's producer told AFP it has been independently produced and a Netflix spokesperson also confirmed that the company has not been involved in production.
21 Oct, 2022

Misleading posts viewed hundreds of thousands of times claim that a documentary on alleged corruption by Pakistan’s prime minister is an “upcoming Netflix series”, but a producer for the film told AFP it is independently produced. A Netflix spokesperson also said the company has not been involved in production.

The video was shared on Twitter on October 17 and has been viewed more than 300,000 times. Comments on that and similar posts suggest that many users believed the documentary was produced by Netflix.

“Netflix series on Dirty money Stashed in London…Behind closed Doors. Coming Soon…!!!” reads the tweet.

In the one-minute and 41-second clip, titled Behind Closed Doors, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his sons are accused of engaging in illegal financial operations.

The Sharif family, including three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the brother of the current prime minister, have been embroiled in countless corruption and money laundering allegations. The family deny the accusations and argue they are politically motivated.

Sharif took office on April 11, following a parliamentary no-confidence vote in which legislators voted to dismiss his predecessor, Imran Khan.

Since then, Khan, the chairman of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, has mounted a political campaign against the ruling coalition, organising rallies around the country in an attempt to cripple the government and force early elections.

The misleading video has been viewed more than 72,000 times in social media posts alongside similar claims on Facebook, TikTok and YouTube.

The video was also shared on Twitter with a similar claim by PTI leaders Taimur Khan Jhagra, Momina Basit and Faisal Amin Khan, where it was viewed more than 28,000 times.

Shireen Mazari, who served as the country’s human rights minister during Khan’s government, retweeted the trailer with a similar claim, which was then shared more than 2,400 times.

Social media users appeared to believe that Netflix is producing the documentary.

“His supporters will still celebrate this saying ’look, Netflix is making a documentary on our leader!!” read one Urdu-language comment.

“Praise Allah. Even international media like Netflix are making documentaries about him,” another user said.

A Netflix spokesperson, however, told AFP that the platform has no plans to add the documentary to its service.

Independent production

A keyword search on Google found the same video published here on YouTube on October 17 by a YouTube channel operated by Independent POV, an independent production company that makes documentaries that explore themes of secrecy, financial crimes and the abuse of power.

The video’s caption reads in part: “Behind Closed Doors is a film about corruption in high places and those who enable it.”

Michael Oswald, a producer of the documentary, said it has no affiliation with Netflix.

“As with all of Independent POV’s documentaries to date, it is independently produced and funded,” he told AFP.

The official website for the documentary links to a crowd-funding page to help support its production.


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NYS Oct 21, 2022 11:59am
If I understand you correctly...... Portrayal The documentary should barred screening OTT
Philosopher (From Japan) Oct 21, 2022 12:11pm
the results of paying US$25000 per month to US firm by PTI for lobbying have come to surface. this is called marketing.
abdul rahman Oct 21, 2022 12:17pm
journalist irfan hashmi first linked the documentary with netflix, saying it will be available on netflix, followed by the very capable kp minister of lg saying it's a netflix documentary, which was followed by a duniya news journalist saying it's a netflix 'series'. all of this happened in a span of just twenty minutes, and from there social media ran with it.
Rana Shamim Oct 21, 2022 12:36pm
My affidavit states "IK is fraud"
Rana Shamim Oct 21, 2022 12:38pm
Netflix will buy and screen this documentary. It will be hit.
Mehfooz. K Oct 21, 2022 12:42pm
somewhere along the line of this apparently concocted tale one can discern IK and his hangers-on connection as they are well known to demean themselves to any depth and length to malign their rivals
MKA Oct 21, 2022 12:59pm
PTI propaganda.
Hamza Oct 21, 2022 01:31pm
Yes humiliate the nation in front of the whole world
Aj Oct 21, 2022 02:04pm
I think some really rich people are really helping imran khan. Why? Nothing is free.
Sam Oct 21, 2022 02:07pm
Does not matter...corruption is corruption! Period!
Tahir Raouf Oct 21, 2022 02:46pm
Also please produce one also about moral corruption
Mansur Ul Haque Oct 21, 2022 03:33pm
Imran Khan has made he should have the courage to face the embarrassment.
ZHEAR AHMED Oct 21, 2022 04:30pm
"on netflix" it says not produced by netflix Muddying the water does not dilute or change the allegations made if they are not true sue for libel or slander . If on the other hand allegations are true threaten to sue until it all dies down say we are consulting with solicitors we have written a letter do anything but sue because it will cost you.
AJ Oct 21, 2022 04:43pm
Lol….so what? If you think it is wrong, sue the producers in the US…..they actually have laws
SayNoToPlastics Oct 21, 2022 04:44pm
We have no doubt there are crooks and criminals in every party and institution , what is required now are ideas on how to get rid of them and recover the wealth that belongs to the poor people of Pakistan .
Truth be told Oct 21, 2022 04:57pm
Doesn't matter. IK working on all fronts. PR firm in USA. Affecting students in Pakistan. Has a long term plan to derail Pakistan but today's disqualification is going to bring all the vice and nefarious attempts against Pakistan to an end.
Najam Oct 21, 2022 05:19pm
Just another attempt by biased PTI-funded individuals desperately tryinfg to give credence to invented lies by mentoning Netflix. Imran is certified guilty of corrupt practices. Let's wait when the documentary comes out
Najam Oct 21, 2022 05:23pm
@Sam yes. Corruption is corruption. Imran stands convicted for his greed and corrupt practices.
Ibrahim S Oct 21, 2022 06:48pm
Like Trump like BayIman aka Iman . It’s a very deceiving propaganda documentary by the PTI party . Is anyone honest in this “Islamic” Republic of Pakistan . Let’s start with ourselves from our own home.
Sidster Oct 21, 2022 06:52pm
It goes to Show that Pakistani Patwaris have no respect for themselves If You are worried about Pakistan Respect, While Pakistani Politician steal and ravage Pakistan Treasury and People of Pakistan are ignoring them because of Izzat.
Ahsan Gul Oct 21, 2022 07:16pm
Without being prejudice and away from party lines! “Please think how Shrief have expensive properties in England” If you don’t live in London then ask someone who does. Why these corrupts are controlling Pakistan from England. Don’t we as a nation have some respect and integrity? Thanks
Philosopher (From Japan) Oct 21, 2022 08:34pm
Updates 2026: NIAZI has decided to spend rest of his life with suleman and qasim in the UK under the patronage of Goldsmith family. Banigala is being declared ss Museum. PTI is on protest against present govt with its leader Mehrbano Qureshi after the retirement of SMQ. DATE of Haqiqi Azadi March is not declared yet, may be after a few weeks. Lal Haveli is returned to EPTB (original heir). S.Rasheed is predicting the govt is finishing in a few days. poor's business AS USUAL.
FK Oct 21, 2022 08:49pm
@Sam No matter corruption by Sharif, Zardari or honest IK.
Fast comment Oct 21, 2022 10:09pm
Netflix is independent. The international community should boycott corrupt politicians of Pakistan.
babar Oct 21, 2022 10:53pm
There is a difference between "Netflix produced" and "On Netflix". Not all movied on Netflix are "Netflix Produced". As per the news above Netflix clarified it not to be Netflix produced ("A Netflix spokesperson also said the company has not been involved in production"). Similarly the producer claimed it to be independently produced. No one denied that it will be or may on Netflix. So stay tuned!
JhunJhunwala-Tikkaramgurung Oct 22, 2022 12:57am
What does it matter who made it, where there is smoke there is fire.
aapkadoust Oct 22, 2022 03:58am
@Rana Shamim . One Fraud recognizes the other.
aapkadoust Oct 22, 2022 04:01am
@Truth be told ,Do you know, what is truth?
AW Oct 22, 2022 07:20am
Once Michael Oswald completes the film and releases it, there will be millions waiting to watch it so trust me that NETFLIX will be showing it because it is business for them -