A Texas grand jury has indicted streaming giant Netflix over "Cuties," which it says has a "prurient interest in sex," according to a Deadline report on Tuesday.
"Cuties," an award-winning French film that centers on four 11-year-old girls in a "sensual dance" troupe, is rated TV-MA in the U.S. — for mature audiences only.
Netflix, however, is standing behind the controversial production.
What are the details?
The Texas Rangers served Netflix with a summons on Oct. 1, according to Tyler County District Attorney Lucas Babin.
A portion of the indictment says that the film — as well as Netflix CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos — "knowingly promote visual material which depicts 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."
A spokesperson for the company said, "Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film."
Netflix issued a similar statement to TheBlaze in September.
According to Deadline, the charge is a state jail felony.
The film attracted heavy criticism from viewers and leaders across the globe following its release.
Maïmouna Doucouré, who directed the French film, said in September that she received death threats following the film's release.
"I received numerous attacks on my character from people who had not seen the film, who thought I was actually making a film that was apologetic about hypersexualization of children," Doucouré told Deadline that month. "I also received numerous death threats."
On Tuesday, Babin shared a statement on the film, in which he said he "knew there was probable cause to believe it was criminal."
"The legislators of this state believe promoting certain lewd material of children has destructive consequences," Babin wrote in the now-viral Facebook post. "If such material is distributed on a grand scale, isn't the need to prosecute more, not less?"
Babin added, "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."
In August, Netflix debuted a film poster and trailer for the film.
Following the criticism of the poster art, Netflix said, "We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance. We've now updated the pictures and description."
After its September premiere, social media users banded together and prompted hashtag #CancelNetflix to trend on social media, as well as a related more than Change.org petition that received more than 659,000 signatures in protest of the film.
Cuties | Official Trailer | Netflixwww.youtube.com
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