Netflix indicted by grand jury in Texas for distribution of 'Cuties'

The streaming giant has received backlash over the release of the film.

Updated: October 7, 2020 - 11:24am

A Texas grand jury has moved to indict Netflix on criminal charges in connection with the release last month of the film "Cuties," based on charges that the online streaming platform is promoting "lewd visual material" of children.

The criminal complaint alleges Netflix knowingly depicted the "lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age at the time the visual material was created, which appeals to the prurient interest in sex, and has no serious, literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."

Netflix has continued to defend "Cuties," calling it "a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up." 

On Tuesday, Netflix added, "Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film."

The French film tells the story of an 11-year-old Senegalese girl in France, as she surrounds herself with a group of young dancers she hopes to befriend, while contending with her religious family. 

"A grand jury found probable cause for this felony, and my job is to uphold the laws of this State and see that justice is done," said Tyler County, Texas District Attorney Lucas Babin.

Babin also said, "The legislators of this state believe promoting certain lewd material of children has destructive consequences. If such material is distributed on a grand scale, isn't the need to prosecute more, not less?"