A new hashtag is trending on Twitter: #CancelNetflix.  Thousands of Americans are canceling their Netflix subscriptions and taking to social media to denounce the company’s broadcasting of Cuties – a new French film that centers on a group of 11-year old Parisian girls in a hyper-sexualized dance troupe.

Despite Netflix’s original poster ad for the film depicting half-clothed adolescent girls in seductive positions, the streaming service now describes the film innocently enough: “Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.”

But the reality – from the clip I viewed as well reviews from those who have seen the film in its entirety – is completely different.  As Rod Dreher at The American Conservative stated, “[Cuties] centers on the grotesque sexualization of minor girls” and “is a deeply dishonest film that exploits its young cast nauseatingly.”

The black and white of it is that the film stars scantily clad pre-teens who perform stripper-like dance routines, including twerking, suggestively sucking their fingers, and simulating sexual acts.  The film also includes clips of the girls watching hardcore porn on their smartphones.

It is truly disgusting and deeply disturbing.  As the mother of an 11-year old girl and her two younger sisters, I am outraged that Netflix would air such a film, which is distasteful at best and criminal at worst.  Isn’t Netflix run by adults?  Some of whom have young children?  All of whom should care about objectifying adolescent girls and sexualizing children?

Astonishingly, Netflix continues to defend the movie amid severe backlash and numerous calls to #CancelNetflix.  According to a Netflix spokesperson, Cuties is a “powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up – and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”

NO THANKS, Netflix!

I won’t be watching this garbage, but more importantly, I don’t want my daughters watching this pornographic film, nor the pedophiles who prey on young girls.

Which begs the question – who, exactly, is Netflix’s target audience here?

I shudder to think it is adolescent girls and pedophiles – yet those are the populations most likely to be interested in a movie about adolescent girls who perform sexually explicit dance routines with close-up shots of their pelvic areas, behinds and in one shot – a bare breast.

The images and dancing in Cuties are nothing less than obscene and pornographic.

Any business that peddles child pornography and any film producer that promotes the sexualization of children should be held accountable.

Thankfully, some in Washington agree and they are doing something about it.  Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has written to Netflix and urged them to take down Cuties immediately.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has called on the Department of Justice to investigate whether the film violates federal law, while Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) have asked the DOJ to take swift action and prosecute Netflix for the distribution of child pornography.  These Members of Congress and others, including Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), are speaking boldly in defense of children.

Gabbard tweeted “child porn ‘Cuties’ will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children. It happened to my friend’s 13 year old daughter.”

And she’s exactly right.  Pornography increases the demand for sex trafficking and is used to groom trafficking victims.  Another word for “trafficking” is “slavery.”  Films like Cuties fuel modern-day child sex slavery.  Pornography also steals our children’s innocence, increases violence against women, causes psychological addiction and destroys families.

The movement to #CancelNetflix is not about one distasteful, offensive film.  The Cuties backlash is about a lot of sensible Americans saying “Enough is enough.  Stop the sexualization of our children and the infiltration of pornography into our culture and homes.”

How do we do that?

The good news is that we don’t need new laws to prevent images like those seen in Cuties appearing in our living rooms.  The bad news is that federal obscenity laws are not being readily enforced.

For several months, Family Policy Alliance has collected signatures on a petition to Attorney General William Barr asking him to declare obscenity prosecution a national priority at the Department of Justice and to vigorously enforce current obscenity laws, including laws against child pornography.

We will soon deliver this petition to the Department of Justice.  If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment to sign the petition today.

You may also consider canceling your Netflix subscription or joining the movement on social media to call Netflix to account and urge the company to reverse course on peddling child pornography.

For children and families,

Amanda Banks
Director, External Relations