A grand jury in Tyler County, Texas, has indicted Netflix on charges of “disseminating lewd material” for distributing the French film Cuties. The indictment, which specifically names company co-CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos, accuses the Netflix of “the lewd exhibition of the genitals or 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 and has no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”
Saying that the Sundance award-winning film Cuties meets the definition of child pornography, almost three dozen Republican members of Congress led by Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana have called on Attorney General Bill Barr to prosecute Netflix for distributing it.
At the heart of the backlash is the idea that Cuties is dangerously and irresponsibly sexualizing pre-teen girls, which, ironically, is what the movie itself is criticizing too. The campaign against the film, which includes calls for the Department of Justice to investigate it and hundreds of thousands calling for subscribers to cancel their Netflix accounts, is riddled with inaccuracies due in part to the fact that some critics have not seen the film (one claims that there is child nudity when there is not).