“Just over three weeks ago, I joined a chorus of concerned Americans in expressing our outrage and disgust at the film, Cuties, distributed by Netflix. I wrote to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to share these concerns and request that Netflix explain whether or not the potential exploitation of young girls depicted in the film violated federal law. I later discussed my concerns in more detail with Netflix employees by phone. I have to say that I am unsatisfied by Netflix’s response.
“Asked whether the sexualization of young girls depicted in Cuties constituted criminal conduct, Netflix offered only conclusory statements in denial. I am not convinced.
“But setting aside the legal question, there is a more pressing moral question. Netflix itself acknowledges that the conduct of the young girls in Cuties “is inappropriate, shameful, and a hallmark of a cultural failing.” I couldn’t agree more. What I cannot understand, however, is how Netflix can condemn the conduct depicted in Cuties, while celebrating the film and filmmakers who asked several underage girls to stand in front of a camera and engage in that same “inappropriate, shameful” conduct for all the world to see.
“I reiterate my call for Netflix to cease distributing Cuties. Until it does so, Netflix lacks the moral standing to speak to any cultural issue.”