Netflix has been indicted by a grand jury in Texas for the promotion of “lewd” visual material of a child following the release of the French film “Cuties.”
The streaming service attracted worldwide condemnation last month after obscene footage from the show went viral across social media. The movie follows the story of an 11-year-old girl, who in defiance of her family’s conservative beliefs, begins to “explore her femininity” through sexually suggestive dance.
IMDB’s Parent’s Guide initially warned viewers that the film contained “many highly sexualized and erotic dance scenes that purposefully exploit and objectify numerous scantily clad underage girls.”
The review went on to say: “One of the female child dancers lifts up her cropped top to fully display her bare breast. This is lawfully defined as pedophilia and can be extremely distressing to many viewers.”
The movie database, however, has since replaced the damning review with what appears to be a defence of the film, claiming the depiction of “11-year-old girls dancing very suggestively” is “intended to be seen in an unflattering light.”
The grand jury indictment was filed on September 23 in Tyler County, Texas, according to a copy of the indictment that was tweeted by Texas Rep. Matt Schaefer.
The indictment claims that Netflix did “knowingly promote 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…”
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 pic.twitter.com/UJ1hY8XJ2l— Matt Schaefer (@RepMattSchaefer) October 6, 2020
Sen. Ted Cruz was one of several Washington lawmakers to urge the Department of Justice to investigate the production and distribution of the film to determine whether Netflix, its executives, or the individuals involved in the film and production violated any federal child pornography laws.
“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,” Cruz said in a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr.
A Netflix spokesperson responded to the indictment, saying: “Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film.”
However, the notion that the movie is justifiable because the filmmakers supposedly intended to raise awareness of the sexualization of minors is far from compelling.
A film that sexualizes 11-year-old girls in an effort to highlight the dangers of the sexualization of children makes as much sense as a cop beating an individual senseless to draw attention to police brutality.
An injustice inflicted in the name of justice is still an injustice. Drawing social awareness to a particular crime is no justification for committing that crime. It undermines with one hand the very thing it’s claiming to combat with the other. We have a word for that. We call it hypocrisy.