AceShowbiz - Netflix remains unfazed by the criticism leveled at it over its film "Cuties". The streaming giant has continued to defend the controversial French movie after it's dragged into a criminal courtroom in Texas over allegations of lewd depiction of children.
A Tyler County, Texas, grand jury indicted the streaming giant on September 23 for "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."
Lucas Babin, Tyler County District Attorney, said in a statement posted on the office's official Facebook page that the summons was served on Netflix October 1 by Texas Rangers. The charge is a "state jail felony," with CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos being named as defendants, according to the statement.
"The legislators of this state believe promoting certain lewd material of children has destructive consequences," Babin added. "If such material is distributed on a grand scale, isn't the need to prosecute more, not less? A grand jury in Tyler County found probably cause for this felony, and my job is to uphold the laws of this state and see that justice is done."
In a response to the indictment, Netflix says that critics are missing the point of the film. " 'Cuties' is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children," it insists. "This charge is without merit and we stand by the film."
"Cuties" sparked backlash even before its premiere due to a poster used to promote the coming-of-age drama. The artwork was deemed inappropriate as it featured its child stars posing in their dancing outfits. Netflix apologized for it and removed the poster, but continued to face criticism over hypersexualisation of pre-adolescent girls in the film.
The movie centers on a Senegalese-French girl with a traditional Muslim upbringing who is caught between traditional values and Internet culture. It nabbed Directing Award-Dramatic for filmmaker Doucoure at the Sundance Film Festival.