A Texas grand jury has criminally incited Netflix over its decision to release the French film “Cuties,” which the streaming giant originally described as a movie about an 11-year-old girl who joins a twerking dance troop.
Netflix faced a wave of bad publicity and lost subscribers in the ensuring backlash, which were both predictable repercussions. But there’s an unexpected plot twist to this story: the district attorney is a former actor with his own IMDB page, and his father is a Congressman.
Texas grand jury says film promotes lewd depictions of children
Netflix was indicted on criminal charges for “promotion of lewd visual material depicting a child” on Sept. 23. The indictment came from a grand jury in Tyler County, which is in east Texas and has a population of less than 22,000.
According to a press release from Tyler County District Attorney Lucas Babin, “it is illegal to knowingly promote visual material that depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child, which appeals to the prurient interest in sex and has no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”
Babin was quoted in the press release as saying that, “After hearing about the movie Cuties and watching it, I knew there was probable cause to believe it was criminal.”
A spokesperson for Netflix defended the film, telling Fox News that “Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children.” The Netflix spokesperson also said, “The charge is without merit and we stand by the film.” Director Maïmouna Doucouré previously said she made the film after being shocked at seeing young girls dancing in a highly sexualized way and learning how exposed children are on social media.
Texas Sen. Ted. Cruz previously sent a letter asking the Department of Justice to investigate whether Netflix violated federal child pornography laws.
The movie poster that Netflix originally used to promote the film featured four middle school girls in skimpy outfits and sexually suggestive dance poses. In response to backlash, Netflix apologized for the “inappropriate artwork” which it said was not representative of film.
Upon release, though, the movie featured young girls performing explicitly sexual dance moves, including spreading their legs, grabbing themselves, provocatively slapping their rears, humping the floor, and twerking while an adult audience watches and claps along.
Babin worked as a fashion model and actor
Babin, 41, is no stranger to Hollywood; he worked as both a fashion model and an actor before he was elected district attorney in 2018. Babin, who is fluent in Portuguese, previously had recurring roles on a Brazilian soap opera and later “The Young and the Restless.” His IMDB page lists several other credits, including a role in the Jack Black movie “School of Rock.” He was prominently featured in Paris Hilton’s music video “Stars are Blind” and the two also dated.
The ridiculously good-looking district attorney is the son of Republican Texas Congressman Rep. Brian Babin and his brother is Leif Babin, a former navy seal and New York Times bests-selling co-author (along with Jocko Willink) of “Extreme Ownership” and “The Dichotomy of Leadership.”
Variety posits Babin’s actions may be a political move intended to help advance his career, given the near certainty that Netflix will win on First Amendment grounds. It also noted that Netflix will likely spend heavily to defend the film, lest it give every prosecutor in America a veto over the offerings in its catalogue.
Actors and lawyers… the games they play.