Yes, we watched the controversial Netflix film “Cuties.” 😲
We did this for 2 reasons: to understand for ourselves if this film was really as bad as some claim , and to silence all those who say “you have to watch it before you judge it.”
Techless did the dirty work so you don’t have to; there is some racy stuff here. We grabbed screenshots (and censored them). Here is what we found:
Exposed breasts of a girl insinuated to be underage.
Young girls privately dancing provocatively for two grown men in exchange for a favor.
Lingering focus on underage girls cleavage, exposed butt cheeks, and spread crotches.
35% of dance footage dedicated to sensual, close up, “below-the-waist” shots of 11-year-old girls.
Many of the people defending the film claim “it's not that bad”… we went ahead and grabbed screenshots from “Cuties” for you to judge:
Imagine your 11-year-old daughter acting in this movie for tens of thousands of people to be entertained by. Our hearts break at the idea of our own daughters acting remotely the way these girls do.
The sweeping outcry against “Cuties” has been a welcome change, but we invite you to consider the broader issue; this isn't an isolated film that was released in a vacuum. The core is rotten. Netflix has not only allowed, but have produced some of the most explicit films in the world under the Netflix name. They're one of the largest film studios in the world now with over 200 films produced. As time has gone on, we've seen an increase in the production quality but a disturbing trend in the morality (or lack of) in their films. This is a clear case of “if it sells, make it” regardless of the damaging social impact on viewing audience and cast. Although Cuties has caught the eye of the public, there have already been a handful of “sexploration” films featuring a young cast and NC-17 films showing everything.
They claim it’s art. There is very little, if any literary, artistic, political or scientific value in this film. I have a Master’s degree in art. I’ve written essays on this topic. This isn’t art. It’s entertainment.
Why isn't the FBI storming into Netflix offices? Sexual exploitation of children, even in the name of “art,” is illegal. This is the kind of stuff that people go to jail for. Most porn sites try to keep underage nudity off their platform.
Even with the tidal wave of bad PR, Netflix still stands by their decision to host the film. The core is rotten.
As for us, as people that are fighting for the creation of healthy tech and content that deepens relationships, we simply can’t continue to support Netflix, whose self-produced content grows increasingly darker and pushes the edge of moral and legal boundaries.
WHAT TO DO?
Vimeo, a popular video hosting platform, had a serious issue with pornographic material uploaded by users flooding their site. As the president of an ad agency, my team frequently used Vimeo and were being bombarded by garbage that wasn’t appropriate for work. I wrote them a series of emails…to their credit, Vimeo listened! Since our interactions almost a decade ago, Vimeo has removed search for anything pornographic on their mobile app and heavily penalized or shut down pornographic.
My ad agency was a huge customer for Vimeo, sending them hundreds of dollars a month in subscription fees. I didn’t want to leave the platform, but I threatened to. I spoke with my $$$. Vimeo listened.
If we as consumers push back with our dollars by canceling Netlix accounts, maybe (just maybe) they’ll care enough to consider the ethical boundaries of the content they produce.