Officials with streaming giant Netflix are trying to save themselves from criminal prosecution in Texas for producing a movie that critics branded as nothing short of child pornography.
Netflix attorneys actually filed a complaint in federal court this week claiming that being prosecuted over the film “Cuties” would amount to a violation of their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and expression, though federal courts and the Supreme Court have previously ruled that despite what the Constitution says regarding these liberties, there are limits — and that would include child porn.
Following the release of the film in 2020, outraged adults launched an online campaign that “called on viewers to cancel their membership in the video streaming service,” The Blaze reported.
However, “creators of the movie say it is a criticism of the sexualization of children, but many thought the movie itself contained offensive depictions of children being overtly sexualized,” the site continued.
In Oct. 2020, a grand jury indicted the company for the sexualized images of children under the age of 18. In the filing on Thursday, the company argued that charges against the company would be unconstitutional,” the outlet added.
“Netflix brings this complaint to enjoin Tyler County District Attorney Lucas Babin from abusing his office and infringing Netflix, Inc.’s constitutional rights,” the company said.
“This one prosecutor — out of all the prosecutors in America — has indicted Netflix not just once but five times,” the complaint continued. “Each indictment violates the United States Constitution and comes in retaliation against Netflix’s exercising its First Amendment rights to free speech and to petition the government for redress.”
“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,” the filing continued.
“The court has jurisdiction over this case and should grant Netflix the preliminary and permanent injunctive relief Netflix needs to vindicate its rights,” the complaint concluded.
In describing the film, Netflix was extremely vague: “Amy, 11 years old, tries to escape family dysfunction by joining a free-spirited dance clique named ‘Cuties,’ as they build their self confidence through dance.”
The Wrap reported that Netflix picked up the film “out of Sundance from director and writer Maïmouna Doucouré after it won the Directing Award in the World Cinema Dramatic category at the festival earlier this year.”
“The group stands in stark contrast to her mother’s traditional values, and [Amy] soon becomes aware of her own femininity well beyond her years through dance,” The Wrap added. “She soon inspires the girls to embrace more sensual dance moves as part of their routine even as she begins to face the realities of growing up, and they hope to twerk their way to stardom at a local dance contest.” [Our emphasis added]
“Undeterred by the girls’ initial brutal dismissal and eager to escape her family’s simmering dysfunction, Amy, through an ignited awareness of her burgeoning femininity, propels the group to enthusiastically embrace an increasingly sensual dance routine, sparking the girls’ hope to twerk their way to stardom at a local dance contest,” Netflix added in its description of the series.