Texas State Rep. Matt Schaefer, a Statesmen Academy alumnus, made national news Tuesday when he tweeted a picture of the indictment of Netflix, Inc. by the District Court of Tyler County Texas.
A grand jury in Tyler County indicted the streaming service for showing “Cuties” which includes “visual material which depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child younger than 18 years of age… which appeals to the prurient interest of sex,” according to the document.
As we shared with you last month, the new French film broadcast by Netflix centers on a group of 11-year old girls in a dance troupe called “Cuties.” But their dance routines are anything but cute – they include seductive poses, twerking, and even simulating sexual acts.
The movie is pornographic and clearly meets the legal definition of child pornography in federal law: “any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video… where the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.” (18 U.S.C. 2256) *
Despite a reported eighty-fold increase in Netflix cancellations since “Cuties” was released, and the District Court indictment, the company continues to defend the film. “’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 yesterday.
Unbelievable! Quite the opposite of Netflix’s claim – we believe firmly that “Cuties” is a film which sexualizes young children. For that reason, we celebrate the grand jury indictment in Texas while waiting expectantly for the U.S. Department of Justice to take action.
Just this Monday, Family Policy Alliance sent the petition signed by more than 17,500 of you to Attorney General William Barr calling on the DOJ to enforce federal obscenity law – including laws against child pornography. It is imperative and urgent that the federal government investigate and prosecute Netflix for distributing the pornographic film “Cuties.”
Many Members of Congress echo this sentiment, including Statesmen Academy alumnus Rep. Jim Banks (IN-03), who wrote a letter to the DOJ in September calling on the Attorney General to bring charges against Netflix. “’Cuties’ is child porn and unlike certain media apologists, I and the vast majority of Americans are disgusted by that, which is why a grand jury indicted Netflix. I’d still like to see the DOJ get involved. Netflix broke federal law,” Banks said.
If you are one of the 17,500 people who signed our petition to Attorney General Barr, thank you! We pray that its delivery on Monday, along with news of the Texas court indictment on Tuesday, will encourage the Department of Justice to act now – before more children fall prey to the porn industry.
Advancing public policy to protect children and strengthen families is among our top priorities at Family Policy Alliance.® In today’s culture, one of the most pervasive forms of harm to children and families is pornography – which is why we are focused on curbing the pornography industry.
Unfortunately, 2020 has created a “perfect storm” for the proliferation of pornography in America. During the COVID-19 pandemic when Americans were quarantined at home, many lost their jobs or had to work less and school children were required to learn online, pornography viewing and distribution increased at an alarming rate…taking children and families as victims.
That is why throughout this year, we’ve asked you to take action against the burgeoning pornography industry. Specifically, we asked you to sign a petition to Attorney General William Barr calling on the Department of Justice to enforce federal obscenity laws that have been largely ignored for far too long. Despite a first-of-its-kind pledge made by then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016 to aggressively enforce these laws, the Department of Justice has so far failed to make obscenity prosecution a national priority.
Over the course of many months, more than 17,500 of you have made your voices heard and signed the petition to Attorney General Barr. I’m pleased to report that yesterday, we delivered your petition to the Attorney General’s office.
You may be asking “so what do we do now?”
Well, our work is certainly not done. Most importantly at this time, we invite you to pray with us that our petition and the calls of thousands of Americans concerned for the welfare of children and families will be heard and heeded at the Department of Justice. We can pray specifically for Attorney General Barr who leads the 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices that are responsible for enforcing federal law. And as we look forward to the 2021 state legislative sessions, we will continue to educate you on public policy to strengthen existing anti-pornography laws and create new laws to curb the growth and negative effects of pornography in our country. Stay tuned!
Director, External Relations
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.
Nearly half a century ago, the Supreme Court issued an opinion that would change the legal landscape of the pornography industry. In Miller v. California, the Supreme Court cloaked pornography in First Amendment protections, allowing the porn industry to get away with exploiting countless lives both on screen and those who viewed the content. Ever since then, courts have struck down lawmakers’ efforts to restrict pornography, and prosecutors have been afraid to even enforce laws already on the books that do pass Supreme Court muster. There are even sections of law that allow porn sites to get away with their blatant abuse by passively permitting others to post on their site.
The First Amendment was never meant to protect the exploitative, multi-billion-dollar industry of pornography. The industry has sexually abused countless young children—and then broadcast the video or image of their abuse to the whole world on sites like Pornhub. Pornhub is the largest pornography website on the planet with over 42 billion visits a year. Pornhub is knowingly complicit in the human trafficking industry.
And of course, a site like Pornhub could not miss an opportunity to exploit ongoing international and national crises – like COVID-19 and racial tensions in the U.S. In the height of the pandemic, Pornhub did its best to use the crisis as an opportunity to gain even greater foothold in homes by offering increased access to its harmful content. In the last several months, Pornhub also allowed videos expressly created to denigrate minorities to circulate on its site. The hypocrisy was overwhelming when they also claimed to fight for equality. Pornhub’s version of equality is equally exploiting everyone.
We believe that everyone has dignity and value because they are created in the image of God. We believe that the porn industry exploits women and children, as well as the men they prey on to fund their bloated bank accounts. And we believe that the porn industry should be held accountable for the content that they put on the internet.
If you agree and haven’t yet had a chance, would you take 30 seconds to add your name to our petition to President Trump’s Attorney General Barr, asking him to make prosecuting obscenity a top priority in his office? This is just one way that we can start changing the culture when it comes to holding the porn industry accountable.
Brittany Jones, Esq.
The abortion industry isn’t the only one exploiting the COVID-19 crisis for their own bottom line. Pornhub, the world’s largest pornography website, is also jumping into the fray by making its premium content free worldwide. Amidst the coronavirus crisis, media accounts estimate over 1 billion people are in lock-down and Pornhub has declared their content is an “enjoyable way to pass the time.”
The adult website has been working hard to bolster its public image by engaging in other grand gestures of “philanthropy” during this pandemic. But let’s not forget, before the coronavirus outbreak Pornhub was embroiled in controversy because it has consistently and repeatedly failed to remove obscene and illegal content from its site—content that depicts children and sex-trafficking victims. Pornhub itself has not denied its top searches involve the word “teen,” but they’re not doing much because their premium users have made them billions of dollars. But others are doing something. To-date almost one million people have signed a petition to shut down Pornhub because of its inextricable connection to the trafficking industry.
Just a month ago, we shared two stories of child victims’ horrific experiences that Pornhub was only too happy to exploit for profit. Unfortunately, these stories are countless and Pornhub isn’t the only one using global quarantines to profit off grossly illegal content.
Snapchat, (a popular social media platform primarily used by teens to exchange photos) has been clearly and explicitly encouraging teens to engage in “sexting” during the quarantine. Several major problems here, but probably the biggest one is teens exchanging explicit photos is child pornography and unquestionably illegal. Sexting also exposes our children to graphic and addictive content published by their own peers. This is sick. When companies unashamedly make vulgar appeals to promote and profit off of the victimization of women and children, we need people who will stand up and do something.
Now is the time for our Attorney General to take immediate action to hold these companies accountable for their appalling disregard of the law and their victims. America has laws on the books to hold these corporations accountable and they must be enforced!
If you haven’t done so already, take 30 seconds and add your name to the list of thousands of other names urging Attorney General Barr to make prosecuting obscenity—and the companies that distribute it—a priority!
Our children can’t wait.
In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump made a very encouraging promise: For the first time in years, the U.S. would enforce existing laws against obscene pornography. But that promise remains unfulfilled, despite official pleas from pro-family congressmen. That’s why we are inviting you to join thousands of other Americans in calling on U.S. Attorney General William Barr to fulfill President Trump’s pledge.
Now, even more evidence has emerged that reveals the horrific damage caused by hard-core porn.
Consider the tragic story of Rose. She was raped at knife point by three men over a period of 12 hours when she was 14 years old. The men recorded the assault and uploaded the video to Pornhub. When the video of the rape got out, Rose was forced to relive her trauma again and again by people who had seen the video – bullied by some and avoided by others.
Rose begged Pornhub to take down the video. She was a minor. She was kidnapped and violently assaulted, suffering serious injuries. For six months, Rose begged. It wasn’t until Rose faked an email account and pretended to be a lawyer that Pornhub finally removed the video. But the damage was beyond repair.
The stories continue. Just recently, police were finally able to track down a missing trafficked teen after a year-long search. They found her after her own mother was tipped off that the young girl might be on Pornhub. She was. Sixty videos and photos of the young girl had been uploaded to the website by her kidnapper, trafficker and rapist.
There are countless more stories like these.
Pornhub is the nation’s largest porn site, with 42 billion visits last year. Yet, not all porn is legal in the United States. Everyone knows that child porn is illegal. But so are videos of rape, depictions of sex-trafficking victims, and
Simple – because they aren’t being prosecuted, and they won’t police themselves.
That’s why four members of Congress – Reps. Jim Banks, Vicky Hartzler, Mark Meadows and Brian Babin – sent a letter to Attorney General Barr asking him to fulfill President Trump’s pledge to prosecute obscene pornography. They have yet to receive a substantive response.
Please join with Family Policy Alliance and a rising chorus of thousands of Americans in calling on AG Barr for action. You can add your name in about 30 seconds.
Thank you for speaking up and spreading the word!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
Family Policy Alliance is calling on Attorney General William Barr to follow through on President Trump’s pledge to enforce federal obscenity laws. Please add your name to this call from thousands of Americans to ensure this critical pledge is fulfilled.
As obscene pornography proliferates the Internet and seeps into too many American homes, marriages are damaged, children are violated, and families are fractured.
The $3 billion child pornography industry represents the worst kind of obscenity. But plenty of other obscene material is available to anyone online with a few quick clicks. With 4.5 million Internet porn sites, it’s not hard to understand why nine out of every ten boys under the age of 18 have viewed pornography.
The impact of the ever-increasing accessibility and availability of obscene material is significant. The hyper-sexualization of our culture (remember the Super Bowl halftime show?), pornography addiction, violence against women, human trafficking and child pornography are all on the rise.
Something must be done. And something CAN be done.
As a candidate, President Trump signed the first-ever anti-pornography pledge which declared he would enforce federal obscenity laws if elected. Unfortunately, his pledge is yet unfulfilled. Fortunately, there is still time and there are plenty of obscenity laws on the books that President Trump’s Department of Justice can enforce.
Specifically, Attorney General Barr and the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices which he directs can enforce laws that prohibit the distribution of obscene pornography on the Internet, on cable and satellite TV, in hotels, in retail stores and by common carrier.
In December of 2019, four U.S. Members of Congress (Reps. Jim Banks, Vicky Hartzler, Mark Meadows and Brian Babin) sent a letter to AG Barr asking him to do just this and declare the prosecution of obscene pornography a criminal justice priority. So far, their letter has gone unanswered.
Attorney General Barr needs to know that obscenity prosecution is a priority to American families and should be to the Department of Justice as well. Please join with Family Policy Alliance and a rising chorus of Americans in calling on AG Barr for action.
Thank you for speaking up and spreading the word!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
Sex trafficking. We know that it exists, that this modern-day slavery is happening all around us.
Or do we?
Like all evils, it’s easier to imagine it happening in other places, in other countries and cultures. But the truth is, human trafficking is happening right here in the United States of America. It’s happening in our cities, in our communities, and sometimes in our very own neighborhoods.
Next week, for one day only, a feature film on the truth of sex trafficking in America will come to a theater near you. Blind Eyes Opened will play in 800 theaters across the country on Thursday, Jan. 23. This first-of-its-kind Christian documentary will expose the depths of the U.S. sex trafficking industry, including what fuels its demand.
And one of those major fuels is pornography.
Nearly all men who engage in sex trafficking also use pornography. These men also often demand that their victims perform in ways they have viewed in pornography. In fact, pornography is frequently shown to sex trafficking victims to train them in how to “perform,” as well as to desensitize them to the violence, degradation, and humiliation they will experience. Since 90 percent of pornography videos show physical and verbal aggression towards women, it’s no surprise that trafficking victims regularly endure violence and brutality in addition to horrible sexual abuse.
Family Policy Alliance® and our allies are working hard to raise awareness about the intrinsic link between pornography and sex trafficking, and to develop policy solutions. In part, we have crafted model legislation for states that would require non-governmental and governmental to human and sex trafficking to a state commissioner. The commissioner would then be required to use this data to improve law enforcement efforts combatting trafficking and to educate citizens on how pornography and sex-trafficking are inextricably linked.
As most states begin their 2020 legislative sessions this month, won’t you join us in praying for meaningful policy to advance in these areas across the country this year?
The first step to action is awareness. Blind Eyes Opened is a unique opportunity on Jan. 23 to raise awareness of the reality of human trafficking. We encourage you to purchase a ticket for a theater near you, and tell your friends and family members to do the same.
Blind Eyes Opened not only exposes the darkness of what fuels the demand of the sex industry, but it provides hope by sharing the incredible transformations of sex trafficking survivors who have found new life in Christ. Viewers will leave educated and emboldened to be part of the solution.
Together, with eyes wide open, we can make a difference and help stop the brutal trafficking of human beings and the sex trade in our country.
Stephanie Curry, Esq
With increased access to pornography on the internet, we are observing a simultaneous rise in the harms of pornography. Pornography by its very design is intended to be addictive and multiple studies have shown the detrimental impacts that pornography has on the brain. But it also has widespread effects on families and society as a whole. It is hurting kids who have the highest levels of access in history to extremely graphic images online. And unfortunately, they are gaining this access at younger and younger ages. Further, pornography has direct impacts on marriages and the productivity of its viewers as a whole. These are the harms that most people know and can easily understand.
But what many people don’t know, or won’t talk about, are the harms that come because of the increased demand for pornography. The increase in demand for pornography is known to also lead to increases in both human trafficking and the abuse of women & children. In fact, many have begun to call pornography the modern-day form of slavery.
So, what can we do about it? Because of how the Supreme Court has defined obscenity under the First Amendment, child pornography is normally the only form of pornography that the courts will allow the legislature to completely ban. And in fact, we have laws that do ban child pornography and other forms of obscenity. However, many of these laws aren’t being strictly enforced.
Under President Bush, the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force was created to fight hard core pornography. But this task force was dismantled under the Obama Administration. Yet, in the last several years, the availability of graphic pornography has only increased.
When President Trump was campaigning, he signed a pledge to fight obscenity and the exploitation of children. However, we haven’t seen the fruition of that pledge yet. That is why a group of congressmen, led by Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), sent a letter to Attorney General Barr asking that he make prosecuting obscenity a top priority of his Department.
The letter was also signed by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Rep. Vicki Hartzler (R-MO), and Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX). We applaud these representatives for making this bold move. The letter pointed out that many states have already passed resolutions stating that pornography is a public health crisis. Those states are highlighted on the map below.
This is an issue that even many conservatives have ignored for years. But it is not something we can just ignore any more. Pledges aren’t enough. This is especially true when it comes to fighting pornography and sexual exploitation.
We urge you to contact Attorney General Barr and ask that he make good on the promises of the Trump administration by enforcing the laws on the books (just select “Messages to the Attorney General” as the topic of your message).
This is just a start. While we are opposed to any depictions that degrade and exploit another human being for financial gain through pornography, we recognize enforcing existing laws is something that this Administration can start doing now to fight the scourge of pornography.
For the dignity of every human life,
Brittany Jones, Esq
The Watchung Hills NJ school district, which has been under fire from alarmed parents over teaching the obscene and pornographic illustrated book Fun Home, is now at the center of a criminal pedophile investigation. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is an autobiographical comic book that includes multiple illustrations of gay sex and full male and female nudity.
On June 5, 2018, Sean DiGiovanna, a social studies teacher and faculty adviser for Watchung Hills Regional High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance, testified before the local board of education stating: “I have talked to LGBT students about Fun Home . . . It was very positive for them. In saying that it would be harmful for LGBT students, in my experience, talking to them, that is absolutely not the case.”
DiGiovanna’s efforts to distribute pornography were not limited to school-approved textbooks and classroom hours. Sadly, earlier this month, he was arrested and charged after a thorough police investigation found him sending nude photos of himself and solicitations for sex to at least one vulnerable student.
Before physically assaulting children, pedophiles engage in a process called grooming. They gain the child’s trust, exploit their natural curiosity about sex by eliciting sexually explicit conversations, and generally wear down the child’s natural resistance to sexual contact often by sharing obscene sexual images.
While Sean DiGiovanna may have found numerous ways to groom students, we must ask ourselves the difficult question – Was Sean DiGiovanna promoting Fun Home, a school-approved sexually explicit book, with repeated detailed images of sex and nudity, as a part of his agenda to groom students?
The fact that we have to ask ourselves this question is a powerful indicator this content has no place in our classrooms on the desks of our children.
Not only this, DiGiovanna’s words that pornography is not harmful to LGBT students has been disproven again and again. Pornography is harmful to the brains of all minors who view it often. Pornography use has the potential to negatively impact adolescents’ “sexual risk taking, sexual functioning, body image, sexual objectification and sexual aggression,” and can be just as addictive and harmful as drugs.
In a 2007 interview, the author of Fun Home even admitted the sexual impact her drawings might have on viewers stating, “[I]t’s all about the power of images . . . I can understand why people wouldn’t want their children to accidentally think this was a funny comic book and pick it up and see pictures of people having sex . . . drawings are very seductive and attention catching.”
Despite all of the red flags, the Watchung Hills Board of Education has continued to allow this content to remain on the reading lists of our students, completely ignoring parental outcry and carelessly dismissing extensive evidence of the harmful impact pornographic images have on young minds.
We must continue to stand guard over our children’s moral character and their sexual identities. We will not stand by and allow the increasingly sexualized agenda of state curriculum to harm our children! Over the past couple of years, Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey® has been working alongside parents and community members to get Fun Home out of schools, including filing a lawsuit and pursuing a case before the New Jersey Commissioner of Education.
It is an essential and necessary part of our mission to promote and advance policy that will serve families by protecting the rights of parents in education, so that parents can step in and say when enough is enough!
If you’ve had enough, sign our petition today to gain back your right to “Say No”to and opt-your child out of explicit LGBT Curriculum content!
Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey
Director of Alliances – Northeast Region, Family Policy Alliance
Fo0under and Past President, New Jersey Family Policy Council