Republican lawmakers are among those urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Netflix to find out whether it violated any federal child pornography and obscenity laws by offering the French film “Cuties” on its streaming platform. Several prominent Democrats, meanwhile, tied the film to pedophilia and called for canceling the popular streaming service.
According to IMDB, the film centers around Amy, an 11-year-old girl who joins a group of dancers named “The Cuties” at school and “rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity—upsetting her mother and her values in the process.”
“Cuties” is rated TV-MA for sex and nudity, violence, gore and profanity.
“The film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing, including at least one scene with partial child nudity,” wrote Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in a letter to Attorney General William Barr. “These scenes in and of themselves are harmful. And it is likely that the filming of this movie created even more explicit and abusive scenes, and that pedophiles across the world in the future will manipulate and imitate this film in abusive ways.”
Since the film premiered on Netflix Sept. 9, more than 645,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling on Netflix customers to cancel their subscriptions over “Cuties,” and the hashtag #CancelNetflix has been trending on Twitter.
“The Netflix decision to air a movie called ‘Cuties’ that promotes the sexualization of young girls is abhorrent,” Franklin Graham posted on Facebook. “Thousands of people are letting them know how strongly they feel about it. I applaud those who took to social media to make #CancelNetflix trend this week and the more than [645,000] who have signed the Change.org petition to cancel their Netflix subscriptions. That could mean millions of dollars lost to Netflix. I’m just not sure if Netflix is listening.”
On Capitol Hill, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Indiana) joined Cruz in demanding a DOJ investigation.
“There’s no excuse for the sexualization of children, and Netflix’s decision to promote the film ‘Cuties’ is disgusting at best and a serious crime at worst,” Cotton told the Daily Caller. “I urge the Department of Justice to take action against Netflix for their role in pushing explicit depictions of children into American homes.”
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) wrote Netflix directly, asking the streaming giant to answer some pointed questions:
“In marketing this film, did Netflix consult with any experts or authorities on combating child sexual exploitation or the psychological and emotional impacts of the sexualization of minors?” Hawley asked.
He also questioned whether Netflix consulted with any law enforcement authorities or experts about the possibility of copycat behavior, such as the viewing and imitation of hardcore pornography, by children who may see this film.
Among prominent Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, Christine Pelosi, a former assistant district attorney in San Francisco and a Democratic strategist, criticized Netflix on Twitter for streaming the film.
“Hi Netflix, from a customer and former ADA in SFDA’s Child Abuse-Sexual Assault Unit: ‘Cuties’ hypersexualizes girls my daughter’s age no doubt to the delight of pedophiles like the ones I prosecuted. Cancel this, apologize, work with experts to heal your harm. #CancelNetflix”
Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard stated her disgust on Twitter as well.
“Netflix child porn ‘Cuties’ will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles and 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”
Lila Rose, founder and president of pro-life group Live Action, argued that “Cuties” filmmakers violated Title 18, Section 2256 of the U.S. Federal Law on Child Pornography, “which defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age).”
The National Center on Child Exploitation has also condemned the streaming of the film.
In response to the backlash, Netflix issued a statement arguing that the film is a “social commentary” and encouraged critics to watch the movie.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix