Earlier this year, Welsh singer-songwriter Duffy revealed to the internet how she was kidnapped and raped. Now, she’s urging Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to remove the Polish drama 365 Dni (aka 365 Days) from the catalog because she believes it glorifies assault.
The film, which follows a businesswoman who’s abducted and turned into the sex slave of a sadomasochistic mobster, is one of the most controversial movies available on the streamer’s platform. Described by people as making Fifty Shades look PG, many want it taken down.
Last week, a petition appeared online calling for Netflix to remove the film on grounds that it glorifies human trafficking and romanticizes the Stockholm syndrome, a psychological condition whereby a captive falls in love with his or her kidnapper. While the petition has only attracted a meagre 3,500 signatures thus far, Duffy’s statement is sure to be of help to its creators.
In an open letter addressed to Hastings, the singer reiterated much of what had already been stated in the description of the petition. First and foremost, she criticized the film for glamorizing “the brutal reality of sex trafficking, kidnapping and rape.”
This is a reality to which Duffy, as previously mentioned, was unfortunately exposed to. In February, she uploaded an Instagram post in which she revealed that, at one point in her life, she had been drugged, kidnapped, held captive and raped over a period of four weeks.
In her letter, Duffy laments having to write Hastings, but maintains it’s the moral thing to do, saying:
“I don’t want to be in this position to have to write to you, but the virtue of my suffering obliges me to do so, because of a violent experience that I endured of the kind that you have chosen to present as ‘adult erotica’.”
Following the death of George Floyd, an African American victim of racially-motivated police brutality, the entertainment industry has been subjected to ever-increasing pressure to make their content not just more inclusive, but critical of anti-social behavior like racism and sexual violence.
“If all of you at Netflix take nothing from this open letter but these final words, I will be content,” says Duffy. “You have not realized how ‘365 Days’ has brought great hurt to those who have endured the pains and horrors that this film glamorizes, for entertainment and for dollars. What I and others who know these injustices need is the exact opposite – a narrative of truth, hope, and to be given a voice.”
Whether Netflix will indeed remove 365 Dni from its library remains to be seen. Given the immense popularity of the film, not to mention talk of potential sequels, it seems rather unlikely for now, but let’s hope Duffy’s message won’t fall on deaf ears.