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USA: Netflix indicted over promoting lewd visual material

27 October 2020
Image: Quote Catalog

 

23 September: A Texas grand jury in Tyler County has indicted Netflix over allegedly promoting lewd visual material of clothed or partially clothed minors in the French movie Mignonnes / Cuties, according to the New York PostThe charges mention that the visual material “appeals to the prurient interest in sex, and has no serious, literary, artistic, political or scientific value”. 

Cuties portrays the story of Amy, an 11-year-old Senegalese girl of Muslim parents living in Paris. It follows the protagonist’s rebellion against her upbringing by joining a dance group with girls her age. The movie has been harshly criticised for alleged exploitation and sexualisation of children. 

In a statement to the New York Post, Netflix responded to the indictment. 

“Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualisation of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film.” 

Prior to the release of the movie on September, Netflix was criticised for sexualising the child actors in its movie poster. This forced the streaming company to publicly apologise for the “inappropriate artwork”, further claiming it did not properly represent the message of the film. 

Writer and director Mainmouna Doucre stated the movie is a “powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up”, encouraging those who care about these important issues to watch the movie”. 

The debate surrounding the movie led the hashtag #CancelNetflix to trend following the movie’s premiere in September. Additionally, a Change.org petition urging people to cancel their Netflix subscriptions received over 600 thousand signatures. 

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