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Netflix Loses Subscribers In Wake Of ‘Cuties’ Child Sexual Exploitation Controversy

Senators call on streaming giant to cancel adaptation of sci-fi novel “The Three Body Problem” due to author’s comments supporting Uighur genocide

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September 25, 2020

Netflix lost subscribers in the wake of the Cuties child sexual exploitation controversy, and now five Republican senators are calling on the streaming giant to cancel its planned adaptation of the Chinese sci-fi novel “The Three Body Problem” due to the author’s comments supporting Uighur genocide.

#CancelNetflix seems to have worked

Netflix saw five times the normal number of cancellations immediately following the release of the French coming-of-age movie Cuties, which the streaming giant previously described as a movie about an 11-year-old girl who joins a twerking dance troop. Blowback to the film’s promotion and release prompted the hashtag #CancelNetflix to trend on Twitter. 

This figure is according to two research and data analytic firms which saw an immediate spike in cancellations following the film’s release compared to the normal churn rate over a 30-day period. The research by YipitData was confirmed by analytics firm Antenna. 

It’s impossible to say how much of that was directly related to the controversy over the film and the ensuing backlash, and it’s unlikely to have a meaningful long-term effect on the company’s bottom line; as of June, the company had nearly 200 million subscribers world-wide. But the negative attention has drawn scrutiny from Congress. 

READ MORE: Netflix apologies for ‘Cuties’ poster that sexualizes young girls

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called it a deeply disturbing movie that sexualizes children, and then sent a letter asking the Department of Justice to investigate whether Netflix violated federal child pornography laws.

Hawaii Congresswoman (and former 2020 Democratic candidate for president) Tulsi Gabbard was likewise critical, calling Netflix complicit in child sex trafficking. She wrote on Twitter that “Cuties” would “whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade.” She also urged her followers to #CancelNetflix. 

Senators call on Netflix to scuttle project by Chinese author over concentration camp comments

Meanwhile, five Republican senators on Wednesday sent a letter to Netflix asking the streaming giant to scuttle plans to adapt the sci-fi novel “The Three Body Problem” by Chinese author Liu Cixin, in light of comments he made supporting the Chinese communist regime’s treatment of minority Uighurs that are being detained in mass concentration camps. 

More than 1 million Uighurs are reportedly being held in the concentration camps, where they are being used for slave labor and subjected to political indoctrination, forced sterilization, and organ harvesting. The letter from the senators said that these crimes are being “committed systemically and at a scale which may warrant a distinction of genocide.”

The letter then says that “a number of U.S. companies continue to either actively or tacitly allow the normalization of, or apologism for, these crimes. The decision to produce an adaptation of Mr. Liu’s work can be viewed as such normalization.” 

In a 2019 interview with The New Yorker, Liu was quoted as saying that “the government is helping their economy and trying to lift them out of poverty,” a sentiment that is in-line with the communist regime’s propaganda.  

In the letter, the senators directly asked if Netflix considers the Chinese Communist Party’s interment of 1.8 to 3 million Uighurs in concentration camps acceptable, and whether it was aware of Liu’s comments. 

“Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are attached to the project, along with “The Terror” creator Alexander Woo. The story is about Earth’s contact with an alien race with superior technology, and humanity’s attempt to coexist.  

People are starting to pay attention to the atrocity that is taking place in China. Disney is now dealing with negative publicity for filming the live action remake of “Mulan” in a region of China where the camps are located.

Director Judd Apatow recently made headlines when he accused Hollywood of complicity by remaining silent on the issue. 

This summer, Netflix pulled more than a dozen sitcom episodes from the streaming service for the use of blackface. This begs the question: was that merely Woke performative virtue signaling that stops at the border? Or will it take action to stand up to the ethnic cleansing of an oppressed minority that is currently happening in China? 

READ MORE: The “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” episode of NBC’s ‘Community’ is not racist

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