The streaming service Netflix is in hot water for broadcasting the French-Senegalese movie Cuties which drew scorn on social media.
Even after parents and viewers panned the website for its decision to stream the movie, full of scantily clad, suggestively dancing children, the company aired it regardless.
And now the streaming giant has been indicted in the state of Texas for depicting lewd exhibition of the pubic area of a partially clothed child, The New York Post reports. The indictment mentions the movie Cuties, aka Mignonnes that began streaming on the service on Sept. 9.
“Netflix, Inc. indicted by grand jury in Tyler Co., Tx for promoting material in Cuties film which depicts lewd exhibition of pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 yrs of age which appeals to the prurient interest in sex #Cuties #txlege,” Rep. Matt Schaefer said on Twitter.
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The indictment says the company “knowingly promote(s) visual material which depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age at the time the visual material was created, which appeals to the prurient interest in sex, and has no serious, literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”
The movie, which made its debut at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of an 11-year-old Muslim girl who is raised in a conservative household but becomes “liberated” after joining a dance group.
“The video streaming service and content-producer Netflix is currently hosting a film entitled ‘Cuties’ that sexualizes young girls, including through dance scenes that simulate sexual activities and a scene exposing a minor’s bare breast,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said in a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr last month.
“I urge the Department of Justice to investigate the production and distribution of this film to determine whether Netflix, its executives, or the individuals involved in the filming and production of ‘Cuties’ violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography,” he said.
The fury at the movie and its depiction of young girls in a sexual nature is bipartisan, with Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard expressing her outrage.
“@netflix child porn “Cuties” will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children. It happened to my friend’s 13 year old daughter. Netflix, you are now complicit. #CancelNetflix,” she said.
The indictment says that the promotion of the controversial movie was “authorized or recklessly tolerated” by upper management at the company, namely Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr. or Anthony Sarandos Jr.
Netflix has yet to respond to the Texas indictment but defends the movie, citing its awards and calling it a “powerful story” about what young girls face on social media.
“‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” a spokesperson for the streaming giant said in September.
“It’s an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up — and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie,” they said.
“Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew,” a synopsis of the movie on Netflix says.