Republican Sen. Josh Hawley urges Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to take down the film “Cuties” from the platform.
The movie has previously sparked controversy online. “Accusations that the film promoted the sexualization of children were swift and vicious” have surfaced, Bustle explained. The streaming platform was accused of promoting pedophilia. Additionally, there have been online petitions to have the film taken down.
Fox Business reported that Hawley made his request in a letter to Hastings. He did so after informally inviting the company to discuss the film before Congress in a Thursday tweet.
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“Now Netflix is airing a film called Cuties depicting children being coached to engage in simulated sexual acts, for cameras both onscreen and off. Your decision to do so raises major questions of child safety and exploitation, including the possibility of copycat behavior and exploitation of child actors,” Hawley wrote.
Hawley is demanding Hastings to respond to some questions. These include: “In marketing this film, did Netflix consult with any experts or authorities on combating child sexual exploitation or the psychological and emotional impacts of the sexualization of minors?” – no later than September 18th.
The senator also cited a 2019 article with the title, “On YouTube, a network of paedophiles is hiding in plain sight.”
Netflix defended its decision of keeping the movie online. According to a Netflix spokeswoman, the film 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.”