Members of Congress blast Netflix film 'Cuties' as 'fodder for pedophiles' and want Justice Department to investigate

MEMBERS of Congress blast Netflix film 'Cuties, calling it "fodder for pedophiles" and want the Justice Department to investigate.

A handful of mostly Republican lawmakers in Washington have called for the Justice Department to take legal action against the streaming service for airing the controversial film they claim sexualizes young children.


Critics include U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind. and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.

“There’s no excuse for the sexualization of children, and Netflix’s decision to promote the film ‘Cuties’ is disgusting at best and a serious crime at worst,” Cotton told the Daily Caller.

“I urge the Department of Justice to take action against Netflix for their role in pushing explicit depictions of children into American homes.”

There’s no excuse for the sexualization of children … ‘Cuties’ is disgusting at best and a serious crime at worst.

The movie explores the world of Amy, an 11-year-old girl raised in Paris in a traditional Senegalese Muslim household who had a dream to join a group of dancers named "the cuties" at school.

The film is the debut work of French director Maïmouna Doucouré and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, receiving a best director award.

It puts internet culture into the spotlight and focuses on the hyper-sexualisation of girls.

The film's original synopsis read: "Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions."

It now reads: "Eleven-year-old Amy starts to revel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew."

Banks said he found the film disturbing as a parent.

“As a father of young daughters, I find it sickening," he explained.

"Not only is this movie fodder for pedophiles, it encourages very young girls to defy their parents’ wishes and share pornographic images of themselves with strangers.

The DOJ should be readying charges against Netflix for distribution of child pornography.

"Our culture has come a long way in recent years, recognizing the power of television, movies and magazines to affect young girls.

“The lessons taught in this film are not ones I want my daughters learning. The DOJ should be readying charges against Netflix for distribution of child pornography.”

And U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., tweeted Friday that Netflix “should explain to the public why it is distributing a film, ‘Cuties,’ that appears to sexually exploit children and endanger child welfare.”

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, also wrote on Twitter the film would “whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade.”




Netflix has defended the film as speaking against the over-sexualization of children in society and has urged critics to watch the movie to understand its perspective.

'SOCIAL COMMENTARY'

A Netflix spokesperson told The New York Post: “‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization 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.”

Speaking about the film's intention to Cineuropa, writer and director Maïmouna Doucouré said: "This isn’t a health & safety ad. This is most of all an uncompromising portrait of an 11-year-old girl plunged in a world that imposes a series of dictates on her.

"It was very important not to judge these girls, but most of all to understand them, to listen to them, to give them a voice, to take into account the complexity of what they’re living through in society, and all of that in parallel with their childhood which is always there, their imaginary, their innocence."

Writer for The New Yorker Emily Nussbaum said critics have taken the film "out of context," and "the film critiques just what its haters think it supports."

The film's director says she she is now receiving death threats.

Netflix’s decision to show the film has also garnered an online petition and a trending Twitter hashtag to #CancelNetflix.

The movie explores the world of Amy, an 11-year-old girl raised in a traditional Senegalese Muslim household who had a dream to join a group of dancers named "The Cuties" at school.

The movie pulls internet culture into the spotlight and focuses on the hyper-sexualisation of girls.

Thousands have signed a petition to ban the film for 'sexualising' an 11-year-old 'twerking squad.'

Since the backlash, Netflix have released a statement which read: "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."



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