"Cuties" is wrong on every level.
It is soft-core child porn masquerading as a coming-of-age story. According to Bernadette Brady-Egan, the Catholic League's vice president who reviewed the movie, there is "no redeemable reason to watch it." She added that "at no point could I laugh at this film. I wanted to cry a number of times for these girls."
"Cuties" is billed as a sex-comedy movie, but in reality it is more tragic than anything else. The content is outrageously graphic. According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), which prepared a guide for parents, "Cuties" is intended for mature audiences, including several sexual sequences.
For example, IMDB says there are "frequent scenes of 11-year-old girls dancing lewdly where the camera pans in and zooms in on the children's buttocks and midsections (both still in skin-tight clothes)."
There is also a scene where "one child is doused with water while wearing a tiny tank top and teeny underwear that expose her butt cheeks...child bounces as camera focuses on breasts and child gets on all fours and grinds pelvis into floor and twerks while camera films from behind with an up angle on child's mostly bare bottom and underwear in crack."
Then there is the shot of an 11-year-old who takes a picture of her private parts before publishing it online. And so on.
Regardless of the producers' intentions, "Cuties" seeks to normalize pedophilia. The producers cannot deny the effects of this wholly irresponsible portrayal of young girls. It will obviously appeal to some very sick men. Moreover, it sends a message to teenage males that it is okay to prey on subteens.
Those "open-minded" reviewers who like "Cuties" are either plain stupid or malicious. They complain about the sexual harassment of women, sexual abuse, and sex trafficking of young girls. They are livid over reports of pedophile priests. Where do they think these offenders got the idea that sexual exploitation is not unacceptable? Are they so dumb they cannot connect the dots? Or are they so depraved that they really don't care?
There are several senators who have asked Netflix to pull "Cuties." We wish them well. But we are supporting Sen. Ted Cruz. He is asking the Department of Justice to investigate Netflix with an eye towards possible violation of the federal law governing the production of child pornography. I will write to Secretary Bill Barr today.
Bill Donohue is president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of eight books and many articles.