ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Italian bishops' media has defended the controversial film Cuties, arguing that Netflix's soft-core child pornography production "does not encourage pedophilia" but "when interpreted correctly and presented well, can become an educational film."
There is no "scandalous sexualization of adolescents" as the 650,000 petitioners who "launched a sabotage campaign" against Netflix are claiming, Andrea Fagioli wrote in Avvenire — the leftwing journal of the Italian Episcopal Conference. The online platform lost $9 billion on the stock market in a single day.
"Those who are outraged at Netflix for the French film Mignonnes (Cuties) have not seen the movie and are basing their criticism on the poster advertising the film," Fagioli asserted in a Wednesday column. "Otherwise they didn't understand it or have looked at it with the wrong eyes."
"Mignonnes is indeed a tough film, very tough. It is an insight into a reality — that of 11–12-year-olds that even parents sometimes do not accept or do not want to accept," he wrote, as Netflix was left reeling from an 800% surge in subscription cancellations — higher than the average churn rate.
The girls "talk, even in foul language, but then show that they know nothing about sex or that they care if they are considered wrong," Fagioli argues, even though the film shows "naked women role play(ing) through dance, both lesbian and heterosexual acts."
"The problem is not these kids who grow up too fast for certain things without having sufficient maturity or the necessary immune defenses," but "absent parents, social networks that equate your identity with the number of likes you receive" and "the ease with which kids can access wrong forms of sexuality online as the only means to create equality," he observes.
Well-known Catholic journalist Caroline Farrow who launched a petition to cancel Cuties expressed her disbelief to Church Militant.
"Words fail me! Whoever wrote that column couldn't do a better job of showing how out of touch they are with the concerns of parents and indeed of the wider world," the shocked U.K. campaign director and media commentator for CitizenGO said.
"In order for Cuties to be made, child actors had to be sexualized and instrumentalized, which was a gross affront to their human dignity, compounded by the fact that they were unable to consent," Farrow maintained.
"It is simply appalling that Catholic bishops would appear to be validating a film widely criticized for normalizing pedophilia," she emphasized, noting in her petition that "it is unavoidable that by releasing Cuties on Netflix it will be accessible to pedophiles."
"It appears the Church has learned nothing from the many child sex abuse scandals over the years. Do they not realize how bad this looks?" Farrow asked.
The CitizenGo petition points out that "the synopsis Netflix originally made for it (before they changed it due to backlash) was 'Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family's traditions.'"
"Netflix originally promoted the movie in the same way you would soft-core pornography," Breitbart editor-at-large John Nolte remarked. "What type of animal wants to watch a movie about an 11-year-old — she's 11! — twerking and exploring her femininity?"
"Cuties is telling 11-year-old girls the path to enlightenment and growth is through humping the floor in a pair of Daisy Dukes, the 'male gaze' is okay," wrote Nolte, after watching the movie to review it.
"Elite film critics are also not divided on the issue of softcore child pornography. Almost 90% of them are for it," Nolte observes.
IMDB warning also put out a trigger warning on "female breast nudity of a minor during an erotic dance scene and lengthy and excessive close up shots of breasts, bums and spread crotches of scantily clad 11-year-old girls during numerous sexualized dance routines."
Speaking to Church Militant, sex historian Lisa Nolland blasted the Avvenire column on Cuties as "noteworthy for its ignorance, naïveté and lack of awareness of the wider pansexual revolution."
"An elementary understanding of human development, anatomy and physiology is missing," Dr. Nolland remarked, in an exclusive analysis of Cuties for Church Militant.
The campaigner against sexualization of children explained:
News flash: Children and adolescents are vulnerable in ways their adult selves will not be. These very young girls are being treated as mini-adults; the notion that jumping rope is helping Amy "rediscover herself" and her childhood is almost laughable if it were not so tragic. The experiences she has endured at this critically formative stage will remain with her through life.
Moreover, the toxic impact of prepubescent semi-erotica on both the actresses and young girls who will watch it — and society more broadly — is ignored. The important action of the mirror neuron mechanism — a function of the eye that contributes to addictive sexuality — helps to explain why watching such content is so damaging, and why grooming youngsters often involves pornography.
She also lamented that the movie stokes the appetites of predators: "More well known, however, is the obvious fact that the film will become a useful sexual aid for pedophiles and ephebophiles."
Republican Senator Ted Cruz asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the movie's potential violations against federal child pornography laws after #CancelNetflix became one of the top trends on Twitter.
The movie's director, Maïmouna Doucouré, has defended the film as a "deeply feminist film with an activist message."
However, Dr. Nolland responded: "That the film normalizes prepubescent female sexuality is a final concern. It is Alfred Kinsey's dream come true, and a nightmare for those who have to pick up the pieces, starting with the victims themselves. Shame on 'Cuties!'"
Over 1.5 million people have signed an online petition and thousands of Brazilian Christians canceled Netflix subscriptions in 2019 in protest against a movie portraying Jesus as having a homosexual relationship with Satan, Church Militant reported.
Bishop of Palmares Dom Henrique Soares da Costa blasted The First Temptation of Christ as "extremely disrespectful" to the Christian faith and urged Catholics to cancel their subscription to Netflix "as a gift to Our Lord" just before Christmas.