Netflix has been promoting its new film, Cuties, for the past several weeks, though its subject matter has sparked outrage on both sides of the political aisle.
After the film about young girls learning provocative dance moves ultimately aired, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) joined the list of public figures speaking out against what she deemed “child porn,” as reported by the Daily Wire.
“No excuse for the sexualization of children”
Brief clips and promotional images have spread widely across social media, but mostly with a message of disgust over the perceived sexual exploitation of minors.
Worse yet, critics argue, the film has been awarded and critically acclaimed, including praise at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.
A number of Republican elected officials have also gone on the record to oppose both the producers responsible for making the film and Netflix’s decision to air it.
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) was among the most notable and outspoken examples.
“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,” he said in a statement to 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.”
“An award-winning film and a powerful story”
Joining the call for action, Gabbard tweeted that the film “will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles” and in turn “fuel the child sex trafficking trade.”
She went on to assert that Netflix is “now complicit” in the vicious crime that she said victimized her friend’s teenage daughter.
For its part, Netflix has defended the film as “a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” as reported by Fox News.
“It’s an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up – and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie,” a spokesperson said.
All the corporate spin in the world, however, will not prevent criticism of scenes that audiences across the spectrum see as completely indefensible.