Texas grand jury indicts Netflix over ‘Cuties’ film, claims it sexually exploits minors

Entertainment

This image released by Netflix shows the cast of the coming-of-age film “Cuties,” streaming Wednesday, Sept. 9. (Netflix via AP)

AUSTIN, Texas (WJW) — A Texas grand jury has indicted Netflix over the controversial French film “Cuties” which some lawmakers say sexually exploits children.

Represented Matt Schaefer of Texas House District 6 shared a copy of the indictment on Twitter Tuesday.

Schaefer says a grand jury in Tyler County, which is located northeast of Houston, has charged Netflix for “promoting material in the ‘Cuties’ film which 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.”

Several other lawmakers have slammed the film, demanding legal action take place.

Last month, conservative Texas Senator Ted Cruz joined the group of Washington politicians writing to Attorney General William Barr calling for the investigation into whether Netflix violated federal laws against child pornography. In his letter, Cruz wrote: 

“The film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing, including at least one scene with partial child nudity.”

Cruz argued that an investigation — and prosecution — would “obtain justice” for victims of child sexual abuse.

Former Democratic Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard also expressed her displeasure with the film via Twitter, claiming it would help fuel child sex trafficking.

“Cuties” is a coming-of-age drama about an 11-year-old Senegalese girl in Paris and chronicles her journey becoming friends with a group of similarly aged dancers.

The film’s content wasn’t necessarily the reason for the outrage, however. The original American poster for “Cuties,” differed from the French version, which featured the movie’s young cast in more demure clothing (pants, jackets). The American cover, meanwhile, showed the cast in two-piece dancewear posing suggestively.

Makers of the film, along with Netflix, have defended the female-directed movie, which they say critiques the sexualization of pre-teen girls, according to a Netflix statement. The streaming company did, however, apologize for the film’s American poster, removing it immediately.

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