Netflix battles ‘child porn’ charges

The US streaming giant claims the lawsuits are an attack on its Constitutional rights

Netflix has asked a US federal court to stop a Texas District Attorney’s ‘child pornography’ indictments against the company after the attorney accused Netflix of promoting lewd underage material with its controversial movie ‘Cuties’.

Tyler County District Attorney Lucas Babin has made several indictments against Netflix over its movie ‘Cuties’, which depicts a group of young French girls who dance in a sexual manner. In a complaint to a federal court on Thursday, however, Netflix argued that the indictments infringe upon the company’s “constitutional rights.”

In its complaint, Netflix acknowledged that while the movie shows young girls performing “mature and suggestive dances” and wearing “provocative clothes and makeup,” the movie is a cautionary tale about the “hypersexualization of young girls” and the “consequences of a child’s unfettered consumption of sexualized media.”

“Cuties violates no laws: it contains nothing obscene, it contains no scenes of children engaged in ‘sexual conduct,’ it contains no ‘lewd depictions of minors,’” the complaint claimed. “But this one prosecutor—out of all the prosecutors in America—has indicted Netflix not just once but five times.”

Netflix argued that each indictment against the company “violates the United States Constitution” and noted that while “federal courts do not often entertain suits to enjoin state criminal actions,” it was time for the court to take action.

“Babin is trying to prosecute Netflix for simulated child pornography, which is plainly unconstitutional,” the complaint said. “Enough is enough.”

Without the Court’s intervention, Netflix will suffer irreparable harm by being forced to continue playing Babin’s game in state court and defending itself against even more baseless charges

In his indictments, Babin has accused Netflix of “knowingly promoting visual material which 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.”

The Washington Post previously reported that while the movie contains no nudity of the underage actresses, scenes include “a series of closeups on the girls’ gyrating thighs, butts and stomachs.”

The movie, which was directed by French filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré, sparked heavy controversy upon its release in 2020 and led to boycotts of Netflix and calls for the movie to be removed.

Netflix issued an apology at the time over a poster it used to promote the movie, which showed the underage stars in suggestive poses. Netflix expressed regret over the photo it had used, calling it “not OK” and “inappropriate.”

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