Shots fired! Having seemingly faced down the #cancelNetflix social media movement that flared up last month in the wake of Netflix screening controversial French movie Cuties, the noise quietened down. But you can always rely on Texas.
Representative Matt Schaefer announced on Twitter (where else!) that a grand jury in Tyler County has formally indicted the company over Cuties. The indictment alleges that the movie exploits the young stars:
“Netflix, Inc. indicted by grand jury in Tyler Co., Tx for promoting material in Cuties film which depicts lewd exhibition of pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 yrs of age which appeals to the prurient interest in sex,”
Netflix have fired back in double time and released a statement that pushes back categorically:
“Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualisation of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film.”
The director, Maïmouna Doucouré, has said that she shares the same fight as those who have accused the film of sexualising the young actresses. She also claims that she based the story on her own life as the child of Senegalese immigrants living in France, then added in her own concerns for the plight of young girls growing up in the social media era.
Christine Pelosi, daughter of the Speaker Of The House Nancy Pelosi, has already called on Netflix to remove the film. Texas senator Ted Cruz and Utah senator Mike Lee joined the chorus of disapproval.
However in common with most internet movements, the campaign had very little real effect. There was a surge in cancellations but that was more than replaced by the following stream of new sign-ups.