Netflix, Inc. has been indicted for “knowingly” distributing graphic and lewd content by streaming the French film Cuties, announced Texas State Representative Matt Schaefer yesterday.
Netflix, Inc. indicted by grand jury in Tyler Co., Tx for 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 #Cuties #txlege pic.twitter.com/UJ1hY8XJ2l
— Matt Schaefer (@RepMattSchaefer) October 6, 2020
A Tyler County, Texas grand jury slapped the streaming platform with criminal charges for promoting lewd visuals of a child, according to the district attorney’s office.
The document, filed on Sept. 23, said that Netflix promoted material in the film that depicts lewd exhibition of the pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age which appeals to the prurient interest in sex, according to Reuters.
According to the document, “[the film] has no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”
The indictment focuses on Netflix Co-CEOs Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr. and Theodore Anthony Sarandos Jr.’s “issuing, selling, promoting, delivering, distributing, disseminating, transmitting, publishing, exhibiting, or advertising” the film on Netflix despite its graphic content.
“The promotion of said film was authorized or recklessly tolerated by a high managerial agent of Netflix, Inc., namely, Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr. or Theodore Anthony Sarandos Jr., acting on behalf of Netflix Inc. and within the scope of the agent’s office or employment at Netflix, Inc.,” the indictment states.
“Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film,” Netflix said in a statement.
“Cuties” was previously criticized internationally for a promotional poster critics alleged sexualized 11-year-old girls . Netflix later apologized for the “inappropriate artwork”, saying it was not representative of the film.
Netflix saw backlash from conservative communities across the country noted that the exploitation of the pre-teens in the movie by showing pornographic scenes was completely unacceptable, prompting an avalanche of subscription cancellations.
Last month, Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog said here it would order Netflix to block access locally to the film on grounds that it contains images of child exploitation.
Netflix, the world’s biggest streaming service, which also claimed more than 1.5 million subscribers in Turkey, could not be immediately reached for comment on the decision.