PTC Calls Out Netflix’s “Callous” Response to Cuties; Urges Federal Authorities to Hold Netflix to Account

Written by PTC | Published September 15, 2020

LOS ANGELES (September 15, 2020) – The Parents Television Council (PTC) called out Netflix for its callous response to critics of Cuties. The PTC reviewed the new film, saying that it “normalizes the sexualization of little girls.”

Netflix defended the film, saying it is a “social commentary against the sexualization of young children… a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up…”

“Earth to Netflix: You’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. A big part. Not only does Cuties perpetuate the very type of child sexual exploitation that you purport to be condemning; you have produced, distributed and profited from a cancerous mass of other sexually exploitative material. Cuties is but the latest offering, and your callous response makes clear to millions of Americans across the political spectrum that you have no commonsense decency whatsoever,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“At a time when Hollywood is gripped with controversy over its racial insensitivity, and on the heels of the #MeToo movement, we find it shocking that Netflix would be so tone-deaf to an issue on which all human beings should agree: the condemnation of sexual exploitation. But Cuties is not the first example of Netflix sexualizing children for entertainment. Netflix hosts Baby, a film that glamorizes teenage prostitution; Desire, a film that depicts a nine-year-old girl self-stimulating to climax; Sex Education, a TV series focusing on the sex lives of high schoolers that depicts high-school aged children engaged in graphic sex; and Big Mouth, an animated TV show that grotesquely sexualizes, and even depicts the genitalia of, pubescent junior high school kids.

“In recent weeks we have called on Netflix to remove the film 365 Days from its distribution platform. That film centers on a European mobster who kidnaps, sedates, sexually assaults and imprisons a woman whom he says must fall in love with him within 365 days. Backlash against the film generated tens of thousands of signed petitions on calling for its removal from the Netflix platform.

“Kudos to a number of U.S. lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, including Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who have all spoken out about Netflix’s decision to distribute and profit from Cuties.

We agree with the calls for Congressional hearings and a Department of Justice investigation into the actions of Netflix. In fact we have previously called for a DOJ investigation, given Netflix’s track record of hosting sexually explicit or graphically violent content and marketing it to children. We support these efforts to hold Netflix publicly and legally to account. Netflix, please immediately cease your sexual exploitation of children, in fact, your sexual exploitation of anyone.”

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