Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerWarnock picks up major abortion rights group's endorsement in reelection bid Trump endorses Hershel Walker for Georgia Senate seat Herschel Walker's entrance shakes up Georgia Senate race MORE (R-Ga.) is calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on preventing child exploitation and trafficking in the wake of the release of Netflix's controversial "Cuties" film.
In a letter to Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows Trump offers sympathy for those charged with Jan. 6 offenses Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE (R-S.C.), the Georgia Republican said there has been a “deeply disturbing” uptick in the number of suspected sexual exploitation cases, arguing that Congress has a responsibility to take action.
“The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children received more than two million reports of suspected exploitation in March of this year, a more than 100 percent increase compared to March 2019,” wrote Loeffler, who is in the midst of a complicated reelection race in which she faces challenges from both the left and the right.
“In addition, the release of the Netflix, Inc. film Cuties, and its hypersexualized depiction of the child actresses, has raised new concerns about the entertainment industry's complicity in sexualizing children, which also fuels predators. I write, therefore, to request that your committee hold a hearing on what steps should be taken to better understand the causes of and solutions for the increasing prevalence of child exploitation and trafficking.”
The French film on Netlfix centers around an 11-year-old Senegalese immigrant named Amy who joins other pre-teen girls in a school dance group called "the cuties." It has sparked a sharp backlash from conservatives who have pointed to revealing attire and suggestive dance moves by young girls in the movie and its promotional imagery.
Other GOP senators have also called for action in the wake of the Netflix controversy, with Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant More than 10,000 migrants await processing under bridge in Texas Senators slow Biden with holds at Pentagon, State MORE (R-Texas) and Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal MORE (R-Ark.) requesting that the Department of Justice investigate the film.
Netflix has defended the movie as a "social commentary against the sexualization of young children."
"It's an award winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up - and we'd encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie," a company spokesperson said in a statement.