Republican members of Congress want the Justice Department to go after Netflix for its role in broadcasting “Cuties,” a film that serves as a critique of society’s sexual exploitation of children … by actually sexually exploiting children.
34 GOP lawmakers sent a letter to Barr asking for an investigation into Netflix over the film. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) urged Barr to press criminal charges against the streaming service for distributing “child pornography,” The Daily Caller, which obtained a copy of the letter, reported.
“Contains child pornography”
Banks believes the movie may very well violate 18 U.S. Code Section 2256, the statute that makes it a punishable crime to sexually exploit or otherwise abuse children.
“We’re writing to recommend you bring charges against Netflix, Inc. for the distribution of the film ‘Cuties,’ which contains child pornography,” the letter stated. “As defined by 18 U.S.C § 2256, child pornography is any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor, and that conduct does not need to specifically depict sexual activity to qualify.”
The French-made film, which has won awards, is centered on an 11-year-old girl and her friends in a dance group who emulate the sexually explicit dance moves they have seen from adults in music videos.
“Cuties clearly meets the United States’ legal definition of child pornography,” the letter continued. “‘Cuties’ contains, ‘a scene where an 11-year-old girl dressed in a tank and panties is splashed with water and begins twerking in a frenzied kind of way,’ and numerous other, equally distressing depictions of minors including the display of an 11-year-old child’s bare breast.”
The lawmakers decried the supposed critique of child sexploitation as “visual fodder for pedophiles and its message is beside the point,” and added, “To us, and to the vast majority of Americans, it’s deeply upsetting to see a mainstream media company promote the sexualization of children. We appreciate you considering this issue and eagerly await your response.”
“Cuties is child porn and Netflix should be prosecuted for distributing it,” Banks said in a separate statement, according to The Washington Times. “The vast majority of Americans agree with me, which is why Netflix’s cancellation rate has skyrocketed.”
Indeed, according to an analysis by Variety, there was a significant surge of Netflix subscribers canceling their accounts in the wake of the film’s release on Sept. 9 — the hashtag #CancelNetflix has been trending steadily — with a cancellation rate per day more than eight times the average daily cancellation rate for the same stretch of time last year.
“Americans are shocked to see this foisted on our children, and so are my 33 Republican colleagues who’ve signed this letter,” Banks added in the statement, according to the Times. “But no Democrats. They seem more inclined to defend Cuties than criticize it. That raises some alarm bells.”
It’s “social commentary” …
Netflix has defended its decision to stream the film as “social commentary.” The French filmmaker who created it, Maimouna Doucoure, has urged everyone to watch “Cuties” before criticizing it.
Those defenses aren’t acceptable to the GOP lawmakers and countless other Americans, and it will be interesting to see if Barr will actually take action against Netflix for promoting “child pornography” or if the streaming service will succumb to the pressure and take down the film on its own accord.