JADED: Journalism with a Touch of Shade
by Lashaun Turner
One of the causes I’ve been active in lately is raising the awareness about child molestation and human sex trafficking. I recently wrote an op ed “The only cure for child molesters is DEATH– breaking the cycle of human sexual predators,” where I list staggering facts about the prevalence of Pedophiles and sex abuse against children in America.
Then comes along a controversial movie released on Netflix called “Cuties”
Cuties is a 2020 French coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by French-Senegalese Maïmouna Doucouré . The film stars Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi-Azouni, Esther Gohourou, Ilanah Cami-Goursolas and Maïmouna Gueye. The plot revolves around a French-Senegalese girl with a traditional Muslim upbringing who is caught between traditional values and Internet culture. According to Netflix, The film is intended to criticize the hypersexualization of pre-adolescent girls.
Netflix saw an Immediate backlash from the internet complete with a trending hashtag #cancelnetflix and several change.org petitions with more than 1 million signatures.. In their promo for the movie Netflix released a poster of the girls dressed and posed inappropriately and later apologized for it. However, Netflix has refused to take the movie down. In fact it is currently listed as #8 in their top 10 movies.
Among those who have deemed the movie inappropriate is Senator Ted Cruz. He is urging the Department of Justice to investigate the production and distribution of the film, including anyone involved. He is asking for an in-depth investigation into Netflix, for possibly “distributing” child pornography. In a letter sent to Attorney General William Barr, Cruz said the film “Cuties” sexualizes young girls, through dance scenes simulating sexual activities, including one scene exposing a minor’s chest. “Following Neflix’s disturbing promotion of “Cuties,” I sent a letter calling on the DOJ to investigate whether Netflix, its executives, or the filmmakers violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography.”
There are many affronts in the sexualization and victimization of children
Social media has become prime hunting ground for sex traffickers. In March 2019, Instagram was reportedly the leading social media platform for child grooming by sexual predators. A recent poll of 2,000 teens found that nearly 75% had received pornographic direct messages from strangers, even if they had a private account. And 55% of victims of sex trafficking in 2015 met their abuser through a website, app, or text. The sexualization of children is occurring in brick-and-mortar spaces too as “drag queen story hours,” in which cross-dressing adult entertainers interact with children in taxpayer-funded local libraries, have appeared across the country. (1) Recently, California Assembly passed a bill allowing some pedophiles to not register as sex offenders (Article)
Should Cuties be banned?
To many, myself included, the movies is a big miss. I started watching it and stopped after 24 minutes. Within that 24 minutes I saw inappropriately dressed and yes sexualized little girls. There was a scene where the girls were in a bathroom talking about penises and then the lead character is dared to go into the boys bathroom and take a picture of his “thing”. That’s where I turned it off.
I almost didn’t want to watch it for fear of somehow boosting it’s rating. Even without seeing for myself the subsequent offensive scenes as described by others, I can already condemn it based on what I did see. Visuals like these are what pedophiles fantasize about. Seeing this on a national media outlet can inadvertently normalizes their sick and twisted thoughts towards little kids. Netflix should be held responsible in every sense of the word. But, I also wonder if the movie’s Director, Producers and anyone else involved should be investigated also. Parents, film crew, everyone.. How long will Netflix promote 11 year old’s being sexualized? I think this has been a money maker for Netflix and they don’t appear to be willing to remove it anytime soon.