The controversial Netflix film “Cuties” is “despicable,” Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., told Fox News on Sunday, adding that “Netflix should be penalized” for featuring the film, which he says sexualizes children.
The film is centered on an 11-year-old Senegalese immigrant living in Paris who ends up joining a clique of girls who call themselves the “Cuties” – and perform highly provocative and eroticized dance numbers while scantily clad – as a way of rebelling against her conservative Muslim parents.
“We’ve gone from our culture being sexualized, to sexualizing children,” Banks told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday. “That’s what is disgusting about this and that’s why so many Americans are outraged by this movie being so readily available to our kids.”
Netflix’s decision to show the film has sparked an online protest petition and a trending Twitter hashtag to #CancelNetflix.
“As a father of three little girls; eleven, nine and seven, I can tell you like so many other parents, it’s very hard to police what our kids watch today,” Banks said.
“Kids don’t watch TV like you and I watched TV will, they stream it. They stream it on devices and it is very difficult to prevent them from watching terrible movies like this ‘Cuties’ movie.”
On Friday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called on the Justice Department to investigate Netflix and the “Cuties” filmmakers to determine whether they broke any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography.
The Republican senator and a growing list of federal lawmakers, including Banks, are appalled that Netflix is streaming the film — claiming the comedy-drama sexualizes young children and appeals to pedophiles.
“The film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing, including at least one scene with partial child nudity,” Cruz wrote in a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr Friday.
Cruz continued: “These scenes in and of themselves are harmful. And it is likely that the filming of this movie created even more explicit and abusive scenes, and that pedophiles across the world in the future will manipulate and imitate this film in abusive ways.”
Cruz said the film goes beyond artistic expression. He said the Justice Department has a significant role in preventing the sexual abuse of children and enforcing federal criminal law that prohibits the production or distribution of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors, including the filming of minors engaging in…