A Texas Grand Jury Charges Netflix with the Promotion of Lewdness
According to the New York Times, Netflix has been providing the award-winning French Film Cuties for its subscribers’ streaming pleasure. A Tyler County grand jury has brought charges against the company – accusing it of promoting lewd visual material depicting a child. Many esteemed film critics have praised the film as a nuanced story that focuses on coming of age, while some less-lofty reviewers malign it as yet another form of child exploitation. This Texas grand jury came down squarely on the side of child exploitation.
Netflix Is Summoned
The streaming goliath, Netflix, was recently served with a summons informing the company that it has been indicted in the small Texas County of Tyler for the promotion of lewd visual material depicting a child. The charge is predicated on a Texas law against knowingly promoting any material – including movies – that depicts a child’s genitals or pubic area (whether clothed or partially clothed) in a manner that appeals to the prurient interest in sex and has no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
Netflix stands by its decision to provide the film for streaming. It responded with a statement calling the charge meritless and describing the film as a social commentary that – far from glorifying the sexualization of children – pushes against this repugnant practice. Interestingly, the movie itself has no connection to the State of Texas whatsoever.
Criminal Law Is Complicated
This indictment was likely obtained to make a point, but the alleged offense in question entails all of the following:
The charge is what is known as a state jail felony.
If convicted, Netflix could face a fine of up to $20,000.
If Netflix is determined to have benefited financially from the alleged crime, the penalty for a conviction can be increased to $40,000.
The charge is typically brought against those accused of crimes related to child pornography.
Netflix was served with legal papers on October 1.
Netflix misstepped with early promotional materials for the film and later pulled the image and apologized for its inappropriate artwork.
This case amounts to an odd but interesting turn of legal events and is the story behind how Netflix was indicted by a grand jury in a tiny county in Texas.
Seek the Professional Legal Counsel You Need from a Killeen Criminal Defense Attorney
If you face a criminal charge, it is a serious matter that attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, takes very seriously. The consequences of a conviction are too weighty not to bring your strongest defense, and Mr. Pritchard is committed to deftly employing his considerable experience and skill in his advocacy for your rights and your case’s most favorable resolution. Our focused and dedicated legal team is standing by to help, so please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.