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A Texas representative said Thursday he has asked the state’s attorney general to investigate whether streaming service Netflix violated any laws against child exploitation and child pornography following its release of the highly controversial film “Cuties.”
“I have asked Texas Attorney General [Ken] Paxton’s office to investigate the @netflix film Cuties for possible violations of child exploitation and child pornography laws. #CUTIES #txlege,” state Rep. Matt Schaefer, a Republican, posted on Twitter.
— Matt Schaefer (@RepMattSchaefer) September 10, 2020
Schaefer’s request comes amid growing outrage over the French-made film for it’s highly sexualized portrayal of ‘tween’-aged girls who portray a dance troupe in which they twerk and appear to touch their private parts, among other things, while performing.
Last month, Netflix came under fire immediately after releasing a trailer for the film, as well as sexually suggestive artwork, as critics blasted the movie for appearing to overtly sexualize children.
“Undeterred by the girls’ initial brutal dismissal and eager to escape her family’s simmering dysfunction, [main character] Amy [11 years old], through an ignited awareness of her burgeoning femininity, propels the group to enthusiastically embrace an increasingly sensual dance routine, sparking the girls’ hope to twerk their way to stardom at a local dance contest,” Netflix noted in describing the film.
Netflix issued an apology for the artwork.
“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description,” the streamer noted on Twitter.
Nevertheless, Netflix released the film anyway — which turned out to be far more provocative and controversial than even the artwork suggested.
**Editor’s Note: Readers may find this content highly objectionable and disturbing, but it is presented only in the context of validating the claims made in our story. Viewer discretion is advised.
The flick “includes many close up shots of little girl’s crotches and buttocks, the film also links young girls to pornography, discussions of sexual acts, a child photographing her genitalia,” The Daily Caller reported.
The film was directed by French-Senegalese filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré, who has claimed it is being misinterpreted. In fact, in a statement last month, she appeared to suggest she portrayed the young girls in an over-sexualized manner to show how children should not be viewed in that way.
“This film tries to show that our children should have the time to be children, and we as adults should protect their innocence and keep them innocent as long as possible,” she said, Newsweek noted.
For its part, Netflix made a similar statement.
“Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” a Netflix spokeswoman said Thursday. “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.”
Other Republican lawmakers and congressional candidates weighed in, with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), suggesting Netflix reps could be made to appear before Congress to discuss allegations of child pornography.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) September 11, 2020
“If you watch 11-year-olds twerk, you’re a pervert. If you direct 11 year olds to touch themselves on camera, you’re a pedophile. If you support Netflix making and airing #Cuties, you’re enabling abuse,” James Bradley, who is running for California’s 33rd congressional district seat.
If you watch 11-year-olds twerk, you’re a pervert.
If you direct 11 year olds to touch themselves on camera, you’re a pedophile.
— James Bradley For US Senate CA (@JamesBradleyCA) September 10, 2020
“Our elected officials are mighty silent on the Cuties movie by Netflix. Even those running for office, supported by the top tiers of both establishment parties, are silent. I will never be silent. Why run just to be silent? #CancelNetflix and their board members,” added Buzz Patterson, a military vet and former ‘carrier of the nuclear football’ who is running for the 7th congressional district seat in California.
Our elected officials are mighty silent on the Cuties movie by Netflix.
Even those running for office, supported by the top tiers of both establishment parties, are silent.
I will never be silent.
Why run just to be silent?#CancelNetflix and their board members.
— Buzz Patterson (@BuzzPatterson) September 10, 2020
Others weighed in as well.
— GaylordNoContext (@gaylord038) September 11, 2020
I know we are all mad at Netflix but can we take a second to talk about the parents? They didn’t see anything wrong with that?
— Sam Jonesy (@JonesyLaird) September 10, 2020
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