In Texas, Netflix is the target of criminal proceedings for the French film “Mignonnes”, which is accused of hypersexualizing young girls and which sparked controversy in this conservative southern state in September.
The American streaming platform was indicted on September 15 by a grand jury in Tyler County, east of Houston. A document released Tuesday by an elected local official reveals this. According to prosecutors, Netflix “knowingly” promoted visuals depicting the “obscene representation” of minors’ genitals and evoking a “lustful interest in sex,” a crime punishable by prison terms in the Conservative State. The Tyler County Clerk confirmed that “a hearing date has not been set at this time.” “Cuties”, the American title of Maïmouna Doucouré’s film, is reminiscent of Amy, an 11-year-old Parisian teenager who joins a dance group made up of three other girls from her neighborhood whose choreographies are sometimes suggestive. The grand jury also decided that the film “had no real literary, artistic, political or scientific value”.
A Netflix spokesman defended the film on Tuesday: “Sweet is a social column against the sexualization of young children. This accusation is unfounded and we continue to support the film.” In September, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who had not seen the film, urged the Justice Department to investigate possible violations of laws banning child pornography. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined two colleagues in asking Netflix to remove the film from its platform.
In France, the Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, took up the defense of Maïmouna Doucouré last month, denouncing criticism “based on a series of reductive and decontextualized images of film”. The intention given to the director is “in complete contradiction to the purpose of their work”. (Belga / Belga)