Texas Grand Jury Indicts Netflix for ‘Lewd Visual Material’ in ‘Cuties’

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A Texas grand jury has indicted Netflix, Inc. for “lewd visual material” in the movie “Cuties,” a Texas state representative said Tuesday.

Republican Texas state Rep. Matt Schaefer announced Tuesday afternoon that a grand jury for Tyler County, Texas, indicted Netflix, Inc. 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.” 

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“I’m hoping every district attorney in the country takes a look at this,” Schaefer told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “And anyone that gives me two seconds, I’m telling the same thing.”

The state representative told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the one-page indictment was filed Sept. 23 and has been public since that time. He is unsure why it has not been reported on until now.

A Netflix spokeswoman told the Daily Caller News Foundation Tuesday evening: “‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film.”

The county district clerk’s office told the Daily Caller News Foundation that a court date has not yet been set for the indictment. The document names Netflix, but no individual persons, on the charge of promoting lewd material.

“I think the fundamental question is, can you tell a story while using underage children to depict an immoral act?” Schaefer told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I think this is the perfect opportunity to push back against the film.”

“It’s not clear to me that the producers and Netflix didn’t play on the sexuality of these children in order to advertise the movie,” he added. “I don’t think their motives are purely noble at all.”

Cuties” not only includes many close-up shots of little girls’ crotches and buttocks, but also depicts them viewing pornography and discussing sexual acts and shows one girl photographing her genitalia, among other explicit scenes, a review by the Daily Caller News Foundation found.

“It’s an award winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up—and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie,” a Netflix spokeswoman told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

A slew of film reviews have also defended the film, calling it “provocative,” “powerful,” “extraordinary,” and emphasizing film director Maimouna Doucouré’s assertion that the film is a critique of the hypersexualization of young girls.

Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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