The war on Cuties has reached the courtroom!
According to reports, Netflix was hit with an indictment in Texas over the controversial French film’s alleged promotion of the sexual exploitation of minors.
This shocking news comes weeks after thousands petitioned for the streaming giant to remove the coming-of-age dramedy from its platform after the trailer got all the wrong kinds of attention.
Representative Matt Schaefer shared the indictment on Twitter Tuesday, showing that a grand jury in Tyler County, TX has charged the streaming giant with promotion of lewd visual material depicting children. The docs claim that by streaming Cuties, Netflix promoted “the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child younger than 18, which appeals to the prurient interest in sex and has no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”
The criminal indictment states that Netflix execs recklessly authorized and/or tolerated the film’s distribution through its services — and should therefore have to face consequences.
Hmm — that “no artistic merit” aspect of the filing may be a bit of a speed bump for prosecutors. While social media sirens have been vocal about feeling that the film encourages the sexual exploitation of kids, professional critics have actually applauded the film for being a critique on the hyper-sexualization of pre-teens due to their access to social media — so it sounds like it may have some artistic merit after all! Certainly Netflix could bring some experts to testify to that in any case.
For its part, Netflix doubled down on its decision to stream Sundance winner Maïmouna Doucouré’s directorial debut. A rep responded to the indictment in a statement to Newsweek, sharing:
“Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film.”
For those who don’t know, Cuties — or Mignonnes as it’s known in its native France — follows a group of 11-year-old girls who form a dance squad and practice very adult dance moves they see in music videos and on social media. During their journey, the group dresses in revealing outfits and perform their provocative dance routine in front of an audience of adults.
Even if convicted, Netflix isn’t in too much trouble. Obviously, no one can put a corporation in prison — not even for prematurely canceling GLOW.
No, the company would most likely have to be forced to pay criminal fines and possibly pull the movie from the platform — which would likely appease the mob of consumers who threatened to cancel their Netflix subscriptions over this film’s existence on the platform.
What do U think will come of this indictment, Perezcious readers?
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