Contrary to What Ted Cruz Thinks, Prepubescent Twerking Does Not Make Cuties Illegal
The French film Cuties, currently available on Netflix, has outraged American politicians who say it sexualizes prepubescent girls. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii), a former presidential contender, warns that Cuties, which depicts an 11-year-old’s participation in a risqué dance troupe that flouts the values of her conservative Muslim family, “will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas) goes even further, suggesting that Cuties is illegal. Whatever your take on the film’s merits, Cruz presents no evidence to substantiate that claim.
In a letter he sent Attorney General William Barr on Friday, Cruz urges the Justice Department to “investigate the production of ‘Cuties’ and Netflix’s distribution of the film in order to determine whether Netflix, any of its executives, or anyone involved with the making of ‘Cuties’ violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography.” But he conspicuously fails to explain how the film runs afoul of those statutes.
“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 writes. “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.”
Except for Cruz’s fact-free speculat
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