Parents Council demand White House intervention over 'sexual content' for children on Netflix

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Sep 25, 2020, 09:31 PM IST


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The Parents Television Council (PTC) in the US has urged the White House to look into Netflix and some of its content that 'sexualizes' children.

The Parents Television Council (PTC) in the US has urged the White House to look into Netflix and some of its content that 'sexualizes' children. The parent organisation has stated that they have noted a 'behavioral' pattern of the streaming giant when it comes to certain content meant for children.

The request from the body comes amid the controversy around the French film 'Cuties' that tells the coming of age story of an 11-year-old girl as she discovers herself maturing, all the while looking for acceptance in her religious family and group of a young dancer she aspires to befriend. The movie has sparked debate and received backlash over its content with many demanding cancellation of Netflix - the platform on which the film will be streaming.

In a statement to Fox News, PTC called for President Trump and the Department of Justice to probe Netflix about the film.

"We are ultimately asking the President to instruct the DOJ to investigate Netflix not just for this film, but for its pattern of behavior,” said Melissa Henson, program director of the Parents Television Council. “We hope to get Netflix to be more responsible and refrain from sexualizing kids for entertainment going forward."

In a letter last week to a US Senator, PTC President Tim Winter claimed Netflix has a “corporate practice of graphically and grotesquely sexualizing children through its entertainment programming.”

"The problem with sexualizing children on Netflix runs deeper than just 'Cuties,'" he added.

“There is a strong link between sexualized media and the victimization and exploitation of children,” Winter claimed. The film has prompted more than 30 members of Congress to speak out against it.

“Please instruct your Attorney General to investigate Netflix to protect children from sexualization and exploitation,” Winter demanded.

To make his point, Winter cited examples of other Netflix shows like 'Big Mouth,' which touches light-heartedly on puberty, as well as the British comedy 'Sex Education,' which centers on sexuality as it pertains to mental health.

Netflix, though, says watch the film first.

"'Cuties' is a social commentary against sexualization of young children," it says but not many agree, some say it's "disgusting" that the film is still on Netflix.

In Turkey, Netflix has been asked to remove the film altogether. Turkey has a powerful broadcast watchdog. It has the power to censor even online platforms. It says the film is "promoting the exploitation of minors".