US politicians demand Netflix is investigated by Department of Justice over French film Cuties – slamming it as 'child porn'

  • london
  • September 12, 2020
  • Comments Off on US politicians demand Netflix is investigated by Department of Justice over French film Cuties – slamming it as 'child porn'

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Members of congress are demanding action be taken against Netflix after the release of a controversial new film, Cuties.

Critics have blasted the film, which is available on the streaming service, for showing pre-teen girls performing sexualised dance routines.

Outrage has spilled over on social media with tens of thousands of people calling for a boycott of Netflix over the film, angry that its young stars were portrayed in a sexualized way.

Some US politicians are now calling for a possible investigation by the Department of Justice, while one member of congress has even accused Netflix distributing child pornography.

Indiana Representative Jim Banks, Republican, said he was joining fellow Republican Senator Tom Cotton in calling for the Department of Justice to bring legal action against Netflix.

He tweeted: “As a father of three young daughters, I find “Cuties” sickening. Glad to join @SenTomCotton in calling on the DOJ to bring charges against Netflix for distribution of child pornography.”

Democrat Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a former US presidential candidate, wrote: “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.”

California Republicans DeAnna Lorraine and Beatrice Cardenas also joined the chorus on social media

Ms Lorraine tweeted: “Child pornography is illegal in America.”

‘As the mother of an 8-year old girl, I STRONGLY support #CancelNetflix,’ said Ms Cardenas.”

A change.org petition calling for people to cancel their subscriptions to the streaming service because of the film has received 600,000 signatures while “#CancelNetflix” has been trending on Twitter.

Netflix has defended the controversial film as “a social commentary against the sexualisation of young children”, and encouraged people to watch the movie before passing judgment.

The story follows Amy, an 11-year-old Senegalese girl living in Paris who rebels against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a “free-spirited dance crew”, and dramatises the difficulties of growing up as a young girl in a sexualised media culture.

In a video explaining why she made the film, writer-director Maimouna Doucoure said she considers it be “a deeply feminist film with an activist message” that is a “mirror of today’s society, a mirror sometimes difficult to look into”.

She said she got the idea after seeing a group of 11-year-old girls dancing in a way “you would see in a video clip” during a neighbourhood gathering in Paris.

The director said she spent the next year and a half meeting with hundreds of pre-teens to learn about how they felt about their femininity in today’s society, and how they felt about their self-image in the era of social media.

Doucoure said: “Our girls see that the more a woman is sexualised on social media, the more she’s successful.

“And the children just imitate what they see, trying to achieve the same result without understanding the meaning. And yeah, it’s dangerous.”

She added: “(Amy) believes she can find her freedom through that group of dancers and their hyper-sexualisation. But is that really true freedom? Especially when you are a kid? Of course not. Amy will, at the end, realise she can control her own path.”

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019, where Doucoure won the world cinema dramatic directing award.

A Netflix spokesman said: “Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualisation of young children.

“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.”