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I canceled my Netflix subscription because of sexually exploitive ‘Cuties’ movie | COMMENTARY

This image released by Netflix shows the cast of the coming-of-age film "Cuties." The backlash to the French independent film “Mignonnes,” or “Cuties,” started before it had even been released because of a poster that went viral for its provocative depiction of its young female actors.
This image released by Netflix shows the cast of the coming-of-age film "Cuties." The backlash to the French independent film “Mignonnes,” or “Cuties,” started before it had even been released because of a poster that went viral for its provocative depiction of its young female actors. (AP)

I canceled my Netflix subscription and want to strongly encourage others to do the same.

Netflix went forward with airing a movie called “Cuties” about a group of 11-year-old girls who form what is essentially a burlesque dance group. I can’t see any reason to keep Netflix after this horrific decision.

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Here are some facts about the movie. Multiple drawn out scenes show the 11-year-old girls dancing and twerking in sexually suggestive ways — all while scantily dressed. They slap each other on the behind in one clip that I watched. In another particularly disturbing scene, among so many, the little girls find themselves detained by two security guards who will not let them go. In order to persuade the men to let them go, one of the girls begins to twerk and sensually dance for grown men, who watch intrigued.

I didn’t watch it all. As a father of four children, three of whom are girls I just couldn’t. The short clips I saw were more than enough. The underlying theme is that these girls are doing this in direct defiance of their parents whom they consider to be overbearing and traditional. Every good drama needs an antagonist I suppose.

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To the exploiters and abusers of children, parents are the perfect foil. Attack parents and you’ve removed the most essential and vital barrier of protection for our children. This is of course is not to say that there are not some remarkably bad parents in the world, even evil and malicious parents. Their children are the first pick of those who sexually stalk children. Still, this is a sexual predator’s game. This is where they focus their efforts as they play the “long game” to normalize their wicked predations.

As an artist I can’t be silent about this. We will all see bad things. We will all see things we regret seeing, especially in the age of the internet. We will also all behold beauty beyond description with our eyes.

Our task is to think about our sight proactively, even defensively, and perhaps more important, offensively, seeking out beauty to behold with a purpose. In terms of our sight, there is no other way to counteract all the bad things we will see. Still, there are certain sights that we should never behold, and the exploitation of children is one of them.

The cause demands a herculean effort on our part. We can begin to draw a line in the sand of this ever-critical front line by boycotting Netflix. Here is a legitimate reason for a boycott: There is no more important treasure to defend than our children. May God protect them, and may God help us to recommit to protecting them in light of this outrage.

Some have justified this film by arguing that it claims to be a “cautionary tale” warning of the dangers of child sexual exploitation in today’s world. It also force feeds its viewers a toxic dose of fourth wave feminist ideology. What other worldview would soft peddle child sexual abuse as a good mechanism for a gritty and brave and honest, groundbreaking film?

But this argument of the film having a good overall context would be like arguing that it is wise for parents to have a child molester come over to their home to molest their children as a cautionary tale against the horrific effects of child molestation. It’s an absurd argument.

The film uses real child actresses. They were encouraged, led and choreographed, into the lewd poses and acts they partake of in this film. In real time. In front of adults who were supposed to be protecting them from that very thing. That’s the real evil of this film. The other effects are secondary. They’re already devastating. All of us should rush in to put a stop to it in any way that we can.

Seth Remsnyder (remsnyderart@gmail.com) is an artist and father who lives in Clarksburg.

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