Netflix’s popular short film, Cuties has been making headlines of late and has been called out by a number of influential names. And now, Netflix Inc NFLX.O is facing criminal charges in Texas for the promotion of lewd visuals of a child in the French film, a statement from Tyler county’s district attorney’s office said.
The document was filed on September 23 and stated that Netflix had promoted material in the film that 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. News portal, Reuters, had reached out to the platform but they were not available for immediate comment.
Many say that the story behind Cuties was flawed from the beginning. The plot of Cuties highlights the life of an 11-year-old Muslim girl who “starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew,” according to Netflix.
Texas representative Matt Schaefer tweeted a picture of the indictment document and NBC News reported the matter earlier on Tuesday. Cuties has come under fire internationally for allegedly sexualising 11-year-old girls in its promotional poster. While the poster or the film was not removed, Netflix did apologise for the “inappropriate artwork”, saying it was not representative of the film.
Just last month, Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog said it would order Netflix to block access locally to the film on grounds that it contains images of child exploitation. Later, a campaign had also waged against Netflix over Cuties and when the film went up for streaming, it led to a surge in US subscription cancellations over the weekend. Pakistani actor Hamza Ali Abbasi too cancelled his subscription over the sexualisation of young girls.