Image Credit: Facebook, Benedetta Porcaroli and Facebook, Alice Pagani

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Netflix Accused of Pushing Sex Trafficking with Its New Show

National Center on Sexual Exploitation has a problem with the streaming giant's controversial 'Baby' program

Streaming giant Netflix is being condemned by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) for one of its newer original programs.

The center claimed that the series “Baby,” which debuted on the steaming service this week, is glorifying sex trafficking.

In a press release, the group wrote, “Despite the outcry from survivors of sex trafficking, subject matter experts, and social service providers, Netflix promotes sex trafficking by insisting on streaming ‘Baby.’ Clearly, Netflix is prioritizing profits over victims of abuse.”

The statement continued: “Erik Barmack, VP of International Originals at Netflix, has previously described the new show as ‘edgy.’ There is absolutely nothing ‘edgy’ about the sexual exploitation of minors. This show glamorizes sexual abuse and trivializes the experience of countless underage women and men who have suffered through sex trafficking.”

For those who are unfamiliar with “Baby,” it’s centered around high school-aged students in Italy (played by Alice Pagani, pictured above right, and Benedetta Porcaroli, above left) who regularly engage in prostitution.

The show is based loosely on a true story from 2014 in which two high school girls in Rome sold sex favors so that they could buy high-end designer clothes and electronics, as Variety and other outlets reported.

NCOSE sent Netflix a letter signed by dozens of sex trafficking survivors back in January to express “their deep concern” about the show.

However, the streaming service never addressed those concerns.

One passage in the letter read, “Please understand, there are no ‘baby prostitutes’ — only sexually abused, exploited, and raped children.”

The organization also went on to point out that the girls the series was based on were just 14 and 15 years old, respectively. In that “Baby Squillo Scandal,” five arrests were made, including one against a mother of one of the children for sex trafficking.

NCOSE also noted that by U.S. law, anyone under the age of 18 who engages in commercial sex is considered a sex trafficking victim.

The series “13 Reasons Why” contains a graphic male rape scene.

This is not the first time Netflix has been the center of controversy because of its content.

The service features a movie called “Girl,” which shows full frontal nudity of a 15-year-old, another called “Desire,” which some have argued has a scene that constitutes child porn.

Plus, the series “13 Reasons Why” contains a graphic male rape scene.

For more on Netflix’s “Baby,” check out the video below:

Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.