Netflix is facing criminal charges in Texas over its controversial disgusting pedophile encouraging movie Cuties.
The streaming platform has reportedly been indicted by a grand jury in Tyler County, Texas, over claims that the French drama sexually exploits the young actors who star in the provocative film.
The indictment was announced Tuesday by Lucas Babin, the criminal district attorney in Tyler County. In a statement posted on Facebook, Babin said that "after hearing about the movie Cuties and watching it, I knew there was probably cause to believe it was criminal."
Most of us have probably never watched it. But according to Maïmouna Doucouré (Maman) who directed the film, it tells the story of 11-year-old Senegalese immigrant Amy (Fathia Youssouf), who lives in an impoverished neighborhood of Paris. Amy ends up joining a dance group, with the girls copying dances they see on social media, which are very sexualized.
— Matt Schaefer (@RepMattSchaefer) October 6, 2020
Doucouré has said that the film was inspired by her own experience growing up as a refugee girl caught between the two cultures, and has described Cuties as being critical of the sexualization of children.
Speaking with TIME magazine last month, Doucouré said:
"For me, this film is sounding an alarm. This film tries to show that our children should have the time to be children, and we as adults should protect their innocence and keep them innocent as long as possible."
According to the film synopsis, Amy "becomes fascinated with a clique of rebellious girls at her middle school who choreograph dance routines and wear crop tops and heels. They talk about Kim Kardashian and diets, practice ‘twerking’ and giggle about boys and sex-related things that they don’t yet understand."
The release of the film on Netflix has sparked a fierce backlash, most notably from Senator Ted Cruz who has accused the film of sexualizing young girls.
In a letter addressed to Attorney General William Barr last month, Cruz asked the Department of Justice to conduct an investigation into the production and distribution of the film, tweeting the following:
Following @netflix’s disturbing promotion of “Cuties,” I sent a letter calling on @TheJusticeDept to investigate whether Netflix, its executives, or the filmmakers violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography. pic.twitter.com/P7wLXixU6X
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) September 12, 2020
According to court papers tweeted by state lawmaker Matt Schaefer, the indictment states that Netflix has been charged with the following:
"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."
The indictment goes on to state that the movie doesn’t hold any "literary, artistic, political or scientific value."
Defending the film in a statement a spokesperson told The Guardian that "Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film."
Since its release Cuties has faced backlash across the internet with social media users tweeting out hashtag #CancelNetflix. Even in lawmaker circles, Netflix has been feeling the heat, with several Congressional officials statiing that Netflix should be investigated by the DOJ for the film, which sexualizes young children and "serves as fodder for pedophiles."
Lawmaker critics included U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind. -- as well as U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.
.@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 pic.twitter.com/GI8KFH7LFq
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) September 12, 2020
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., previously tweeted that Netflix “should explain to the public why it is distributing a film, ‘Cuties,’ that appears to sexually exploit children and endanger child welfare.” Last month, Sen. Hawley issued a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings demanding that he remove "Cuties" from the streaming service.
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) also called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on preventing child exploitation and trafficking in the wake of the release of Netflix's "Cuties" film.
In a letter to Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the Georgia Republican said there has been a “deeply disturbing” increasing trend in the number of suspected sexual exploitation cases, arguing that Congress has a responsibility to take action, The Hill reported.
It's not just Congress, a host of Attorney Generals, and criminal district attorneys in various states called for Netflix to remove the film and be investigated in a letter last month.
Last month, Babin and 33 members of Congress signed a letter to Attorney General William Barr, recommending he bring charges against Netflix over its distribution of "Cuties," which they allege contains child pornography.
At the time of this report, no arraignment date has been set for anyone in the grand jury indictment in Texas.