When Netflix decided to release a tasteless poster promoting French coming-of-age drama Cuties, they clearly had no idea of the storm that was about to hit them. They might’ve issued a public apology shortly after, but the damage was done and petitions were launched in an attempt to get the film removed from the platform.
Of course, that didn’t work and despite the attempts of many furious subscribers, Cuties arrived when it was supposed to, only to be review bombed and boycotted. In fact, for a while, a lot of people thought the pic would just vanish without a trace as folks looked to avoid it. But in the end, the sheer curiosity factor won out it seems, and the movie managed to crack the Top 10 most-watched list for a few days. In recent weeks, however, the furor has seemingly died down and everyone’s moved on. Or at least, almost everyone.
You see, Netflix isn’t out of the woods just yet. Far from it, in fact, as they’ve now been indicted by the state of Texas. According to Variety, a grand jury indicted the company on a charge of “disseminating lewd material by distributing the film.” Furthermore, they returned the indictment late last month under a state law that forbids “the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of an unclothed, partially clothed, or clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age at the time the visual material was created.”
As Variety explains:
To be illegal, such material must appeal “to the prurient interest in sex” and have “no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”
Meanwhile, Netflix has since stood by the movie, saying:
“‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film.”
Of course, it’s not likely that anyone is going to prison here and if things don’t go their way, the streaming giant will probably just have to pay some hefty fines and maybe even remove Cuties from the platform. But right now, it’s too early to say how this will all unfold.
Clearly, though, the controversy swirling around the film is here to stay for a while yet and no matter which side of the fence you fall on, it’s hard not to feel bad for director Maïmouna Doucouré, who obviously didn’t expect or want any of this and now finds herself caught up in a pretty big mess, even receiving death threats from some.
Tell us, though, what do you make of this situation? Is the state of Texas right to indict Netflix? As always, sound off below with your thoughts.