Netflix indicted over 'Cuties' film

(Photo: Netflix)

Netflix has been indicted over a French film that depicts 11-year-old girls twerking and dancing provocatively. 

The Texas grand jury said that in streaming Cuties, Netflix did "knowingly promote visual material which depicts the lewd exhibition of the genit4ls or public area" of a minor which "has no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."

The indictment was filed at Tyler County Court, with the first page being shared to Twitter by Texas Representative Matt Schaefer. 

In a statement, Tyler County Criminal District Attorney Lucas Babin said there was "probable cause" to believe that Cuties violated Section 43.262 of the Texas Penal Code. 

"The legislators of this state believe promoting certain lewd material of children has destructive consequences. If such material is distributed on a grand scale, isn't the need to prosecute more, not less?" Babin said.

"A grand jury in Tyler county found probable cause for this felony, and my job is to uphold the laws of this State and see that justice is done."

Netflix has defended its decision to stream the film, known as Mignonnes in French.

In a statement to NBC, the streaming platform said: "'Cuties' is a social commentary against the s3xualization of young children.

"This charge is without merit and we stand by the film."

Cuties was written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré, who has also defended the film as a social critique of the premature s3xualization of young girls.

Netflix experienced a spike in cancellations after Cuties streamed on its platform. YipitData found that by September 12, the rate of people cancelling their Netflix subscriptions was eight times the previous month's daily average. 

There was considerable outcry in the US and internationally over the film, with dozens of Republican lawmakers and several state attorney generals calling for a criminal investigation and a ban on the film.

Further afield, the Australian Christian Lobby made a similar call.

One petition on calling for Cuties to be removed from Netflix and the site to be investigated had amassed hundreds of thousands of signatures before disappearing from the site.