There is a lot of inappropriate sexual content in movies and on Netflix. However, there is an important point of difference in the film ‘Cuties’, which has recently been released on Netflix in Australia.
The main characters in the movie, girls apparently aged between 12 and 14, perform sexualised adult ‘entertainment’ and provocative dance routines involving twerking, gyrating, and acting out overt sexual acts too awful to articulate in more detail here. It also includes a girl, apparently 12 or 13 years old, uploading an image of her genitals to a social media platform.
There has been much negative social commentary regarding the film, including a campaign to “#Cancel Netflix”. Commentators across the political spectrum have criticised the movie. Among other things, it has been called a “pedo-film”, “sick”, “exploitative” and “dangerous” and a film which is “child porn” or “borders on child pornography”.
Despite this, the Australian Government Classification Board has granted the movie an MA15+ classification and allowed it to be viewed in Australia.
We consider the film contains illegal “child abuse material”. The Classifications Review Board should refuse classification to this film.
We believe that ‘Cuties’ depicts the exploitation of young girls. These children have been sexualised for mass entertainment and Netflix is desensitising millions of viewers at home by expecting them to be entertained by it. Such scenes should not be filmed or distributed. In any other context the film would be recognized as child exploitation.
Its filmmakers and promoters have depicted ‘Cuties’ as a social commentary, but the film has sexualised elements that will gratify some of the most depraved people. It increases the risk of child exploitation and paedophile predatory behaviour.
A film promoted as a critique of the hyper-sexualisation of young girls should not use the very same visual imagery and messaging that it supposedly condemns. Essentially, ‘Cuties’ critiques the exploitation of children by itself exploiting children.
We consider that the film constitutes “child abuse material” under the Commonwealth Criminal Code and asked the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police to investigate. The Commonwealth Criminal Code defines “child abuse material" as including:
(c) material that depicts a person, or a representation of a person, who is, or appears to be, under 18 years of age and who:
i. is engaged in, or appears to be engaged in, a sexual pose or sexual activity (whether or not in the presence of other persons);
and does this in a way that reasonable persons would regard as being, in all the circumstances, offensive
Please call on the Minister for Home Affairs to investigate the film for “child abuse material” and the Minister for Communications to refuse classification to this film. Child sexual exploitation should not be streamed into Australia.
Take action today
Using the form below, please write an urgent letter to these Ministers – it will only take a couple of minutes. Be concise and respectful.
The salutation at the start and your name at the end will both be appended automatically. Please don't add these to the letter below, eg please do not address the email “Dear MP's name”.
When you complete your name and address in the box below, your letter will be directed to the Minister for Home Affairs and the Minister for Communications.
Thank you for standing up to ban this child abuse material on Netflix.