A Texas grand jury recently indicted streaming service Netflix for allegedly disseminating “lewd visual material” with its film “Cuties,” which drew furor last month for its depiction of pre-pubescent girls in sexually provocative situations.
Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-TX) tweeted out an image of the indictment, which claimed the streaming giant did “knowingly promote visual material which depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age at the time the visual material was created, which appeals to the prurient interest in sex, and has no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value[.]”
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 #Cuties #txlege pic.twitter.com/UJ1hY8XJ2l
— Matt Schaefer (@RepMattSchaefer) October 6, 2020
The indictment comes weeks after several members of Congress called on Netflix to be investigated for the controversial movie.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who was one of the members of Congress leading the charge to hold Netflix accountable for “Cuties” by penning a letter that was also signed by 33 of his colleagues, praised the indictment, telling The Daily Wire, “This is great news and I’d guess the 33 Republicans who joined my letter agree. ‘Cuties’ is child porn and unlike certain media apologists, I and the vast majority of Americans are disgusted by that, which is why a grand jury indicted Netflix. I’d still like to see the DOJ get involved. Netflix broke federal law.”
Banks also blasted Netflix in an earlier statement, saying in September:
As a father of young daughters, I find it sickening. 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. 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.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) also urged the Department of Justice to get involved last month, writing to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, “Following [Netflix]’s disturbing promotion of ‘Cuties,’ I sent a letter calling on [DOJ] to investigate whether Netflix, its executives, or the filmmakers violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography.”
Following @netflix’s disturbing promotion of “Cuties,” I sent a letter calling on @TheJusticeDept to investigate whether Netflix, its executives, or the filmmakers violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography. pic.twitter.com/P7wLXixU6X
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) September 12, 2020
Other lawmakers joining Cruz and Banks included Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), as well as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), who explained her opposition to the film with a personal anecdote: “[Netflix] child porn ‘Cuties’ will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children. It happened to my friend’s 13 year old daughter. Netflix, you are now complicit. #CancelNetflix.”
.@netflix child porn "Cuties" will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children. It happened to my friend's 13 year old daughter. Netflix, you are now complicit. #CancelNetflix pic.twitter.com/GI8KFH7LFq
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) September 12, 2020
Netflix stood by the film, according to Deadline, saying in a statement, “Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film.”
Netflix has reportedly seen hemorrhaging subscriptions since the “Cuties” debacle, with an analytics firm claiming that cancellations spiked nearly eightyfold.