Movies | October 7, 2020 9:54 am

Netflix Indicted in Texas for Promoting “Lewd Material of Children” with “Cuties” Film

The streaming service faces felony charges over its controversial film

netflix cuties
A still from Netflix's "Cuties."

Netflix’s French film Cuties has been a source of controversy for months now, but now the streaming service is actually facing criminal charges over it: as USA Today reports, a grand jury in Tyler County, Texas has indicted Netflix for promoting “lewd” visual material “against the peace and dignity of the state” with the movie.

As the publication notes, the indictment “states that Netflix promoted, distributed and exhibited material that ‘depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age’ for the ‘prurient interest in sex.’ The document also states that the film held no serious ‘literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.’”

Critics say the movie, which centers around 11-year-old Amy as she joins a dance group called “Cuties,” sexualizes young girls, but Netflix insists they’re missing the point. “Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” Netflix said in a statement to USA TODAY. “This charge is without merit and we stand by the film.”

Nevertheless, the county in Texas plans to move forward with the charge, which is a “state jail felony.” “The legislators of this state believe promoting certain lewd material of children has destructive consequences,” Tyler County District Attorney Lucas Babin said in the statement. “If such material is distributed on a grand scale, isn’t the need to prosecute more, not less? A grand jury in Tyler County found probably cause for this felony, and my job is to uphold the laws of this state and see that justice is done.”