Family

Why This Family-Focused Organization Is Furious at Netflix

The group is raising alarm bells about a highly controversial film that 'clearly and inappropriately sexualizes a child'

The American Family Association, based in Tupelo, Mississippi, is encouraging friends and supporters to contact Attorney General Jeff Sessions — to urge him to open an investigation into the streaming service Netflix.

Why? Because the group believes that Netflix is distributing child pornography in violation of federal law.

The pro-family group is raising the alarm bells over an Argentinian movie called “Desire,” which portrays a nine-year-old girl simulating sex with a pillow, if you can believe it — including close-up shots of the girl’s face as she’s watched by an even younger girl, who is a mere seven years old.

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The group cites guidelines from the Department of Justice (DOJ), which says, in part, that “the age of consent for sexual activity in a given state is irrelevant; any depiction of a minor under 18 years of age engaging in sexually explicit conduct is illegal.”

Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association (AFA), said, “At the minimum, this disturbing film stream on Netflix clearly and inappropriately sexualized a child, and unfortunately, this is a trend for Netflix, which seems to increasingly embrace objectifying and degrading depictions of sex and sexual assault.”

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But this film isn’t only concern the group has about Netflix.

Since April, the AFA has been alerting parents about the damaging teen drama “13 Reasons Why,” which it and other experts say glorifies suicide. The series also contains graphic language, violence, and sexual scenes.

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“It is clear that Netflix does not care about the families that have been torn apart by its damaging programming. Besides this very disturbing film, does Netflix care about Anna Bright, who committed suicide after binge-watching ’13 Reasons Why?’ Do they care about the Florida mother who says the show influenced her daughter to attempt suicide on Mother’s Day?” said Wildmon in a statement to LifeZette.

We are “deeply concerned about the content streamed by Netflix and will not stop spreading the word about its damaging effects.”

“Do they know about the two California families who have blamed ’13 Reasons Why’ for the deaths of their daughters?” he added. “It is time for Americans to say enough is enough when it comes to Netflix programming.”

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Wildmon said this is why his organization, and other family-focused organizations, are “deeply concerned about the content streamed by Netflix and will not stop spreading the word about its damaging effects. Together, and with God’s help, America’s pro-family organizations can make a difference.”

The American Family Association, begun in 1977, is one of the largest pro-family organizations in the country; it publishes the AFA Journal, the ministry’s monthly magazine, and owns and operates nearly 200 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio banner.

The AFA, by the way, isn’t the only one raising alarms about the “Desire” film. The backlash online has been swift; the comment below is one of many that express concern about the content.

“You need to remove the film ‘Desire’ from your service IMMEDIATELY,” tweeted one person. “You are MAKING AVAILABLE CHILD PORN by leaving this film up. I am DISGUSTED and will be canceling my service if this is not fixed ASAP. What is wrong with you?!”

The film’s director issued a statement to Indiewire about the controversy. Diego Kaplan said in part, “‘Desire’ is a film. When we see a shark eating a woman on film, no one thinks the woman really died or that the shark was real. We work in a world of fiction … This scene was filmed using a trick, which was that the girls were copying a cowboy scene from a film by John Ford. The girls never understood what they were doing, they were just copying what they were seeing on the screen. No adult interacted with the girls, other than the child acting coach. Everything was done under the careful surveillance of the girls’ mothers.”

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