(Reuters) – Netflix Inc is facing a criminal charge in a Texas county for promoting lewd visuals of a child in the French film “Cuties”, according to a statement from Tyler county’s district attorney’s office on Tuesday.
The document, filed on Sept. 23, said Netflix promoted material in the film that depicts lewd exhibition of the pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age which appeals to the prurient interest in sex.
“Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film,” Netflix said in a statement.
The plot of “Cuties” centers around an 11-year-old Muslim girl who “starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew,” according to Netflix.
Texas representative Matt Schaefer tweeted https://twitter.com/RepMattSchaefer/status/1313517817942212608 a picture of the indictment document and NBC News reported the matter earlier on Tuesday.
“Cuties” was previously criticized internationally for allegedly sexualizing 11-year-old girls in its promotional poster. Netflix later apologized for the “inappropriate artwork”, saying it was not representative of the film.
Last month, Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog said https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-media-netflix-idUSKBN25U1Y3 it would order Netflix to block access locally to the film on grounds that it contains images of child exploitation.
(Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Krishna Chandra Eluri)