Netflix Gets Cute Using DMCA Notices To Take Down Tweets Critical Of 'Cuties'

from the too-cute-by-half dept

Cuties, the stupid non-controversy against Netflix that simply will not go away. The film, which won awards at international film festivals, centers on a pre-teen and is a coming of age story about a young lady growing up in both a strictly conservative upbringing combined with living in the hyper-sexualized Western culture. While the whole story is about this juxtaposition, Netflix rather stupidly promoted the film using images that focused on the latter. The result was chaos, with large swaths of Puritan-Twitter screaming about boycotting Netflix entirely and one pandering prosecutor in Texas bringing an indictment against Netflix for promotion of lewd visual material depicting a child.

With everyone very quickly lighting themselves on fire over an award winning film, Netflix sat back and calmly explained what the film was about and why it had… just kidding, Netflix is now out here issuing DMCA takedowns for those tweeting critiques of its decision to distribute the film.

Netflix’s takedown requests, which are still rolling in today, seem only to have targeted tweets that described the film negatively, although some more than others.

“IMAGINE A CHILD SEEING THIS #Cuties #Netflix #CancelNetflixCuties,” one message read. “WARNING CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT,” another similar message said. “Go ahead and try to justify how this film is an appropriate representation of 11 year olds. I’ll wait. #CancelNetfilx.”

Some of the dozens of tweets Netflix issued DMCA claims against used clips from the actual movie, TorrentFreak reports, in which case Netflix’s claims are understandable. However, many of the tweets in question shared the film’s trailer, which is widely and publicly available on YouTube for anyone to view or share.

DMCA takedowns of trailers, as we’ve explained before, never make sense. Ever. Ever ever. What Netflix is doing instead is lay bare its intentions behind these takedown notices, which are obviously centered on attempting to censor critical commentary around its decisions surrounding the film. This becomes especially apparent when put in the context for how and for what Netflix has, in the past, bothered issuing DMCA takedowns.

TorrentFreak notes that the cluster of claims is unusual for Netflix, which has sent roughly 300 DMCA claims to Twitter in the past month, half of which centered on tweets related to Cuties. Before Netflix started targeting Cuties tweets, most of the claims it sent were related to accounts known for distributing pirated content.

And so the Streisand Effect kicks in. By trying to bury criticism, the public becomes all the more aware of that criticism. By trying to censor a controversy that was probably juuuuuuust about to go away, instead it gets recycled back into the news cycle.

Netflix, tech company as it is, should absolutely know better. Reliant on the First Amendment as it is, it should absolutely not be taking actions like this that tamp down speech. And given that Netflix is not entirely without blame for the controversy in the first place, it sure would be nice if the company demonstrated skin thick enough to take a little heat now and again.

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Madd the Sane (profile) says:

Re: Re:

There are better ways of saying "I don’t agree with you because of this fact and/or statement" than insulting people.

And I agree: Cuties does not look like a cute coming of age story. SidAlpha even said that the main character isn’t a good person: her actions could have killed a fellow student/young girl; she steals her cousin’s phone and watches porn on it; when found out, she tries to do a striptease and, when rebuffed, retaliated by taking pictures of her nude crotch and sending it out on social media.

That said, badmouthing a writer on the site, and doing it in an insulting way, will turn people against you, not the author.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Speaking only to the content of the film, such as I’ve heard it described both here and elsewhere: If a film sexualizes young girls “ironically” or “to make a point” (even if the point involves pointing out how the media sexualizes young girls), that film still sexualizes young girls.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Goats

Which is irrelevant here. The filmmaker has stated that she based the movie on her own experiences as a child and the "sexualised" elements are clearly presented in a critical manner. Stating she wanted to present something for paedophiles is sillier than saying that John Wick is promoting mass murder.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"If a film sexualizes young girls “ironically” or “to make a point” (even if the point involves pointing out how the media sexualizes young girls), that film still sexualizes young girls."

The director of that film says she created it based on her own experiences growing up as a first-generation immigrant in France.

So the next question is, if you can’t make a documentary of a growing-up experience without that documentary, as you say, sexualizing children, then the question remains how you’re supposed to change society when it is verboten to show the way society missteps.

At the end of that road lies a very grim reality where the one revealing the misdeeds objectively enough to stir the people watching is the one being burned at the stake.

There have already been disturbing cases in various parts of the world where the person trying to reveal and report child abuse risk being the ones charged with crimes – instead of the alleged abuser.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Exact same thing. It’s disturbing to watch, unpleasant to know, and the ramifications – that what is depicted is largely on us – are inconvenient.

Thus, shoot the messenger and let’s all shut up about it. Preferably in very angry tones of voice hopefully shaming anyone outrageous enough to mention it again into silence.

That, folks, is how you hand some very sick people full victory and set back the clock of civilization. By pretending the shit we don’t want to exist, doesn’t.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"Cuties does not look like a cute coming of age story"

Due to Netflix’s badly misjudged ad campaign. People would not be so outraged had the film remained as obscure as most French arthouse movies are with its original poster image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuties#/media/File:Cuties_poster.jpg

"SidAlpha even said that the main character isn’t a good person"

That’s kind of the point. When you get outside of the sanitised, dumbed-down cinema of Hollywood, films explore people you’re not necessarily required to agree or sympathise with 100%.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

I have no clue. It’s unusual for him to even talk about such things, and he’s not that well known in similar circles as this website, so it doesn’t make much sense. I’ll look up the video to see why he brought it up to begin with (I suspect things were taken out of context), but you’re right that he has no real clout here.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Lacking any other context (I’m not going to go on the hunt for the evidence), I’d guess that either he was taken in be the faux controversy or got a sponsor who wanted him to cover the issue. Then, not being any more well-versed in foreign or challenging cinema that his audience, got suckered in to the outrage rather than context. Or, pumped up the outrage for the ad dollars, safe in the knowledge that his core audience won’t care.

Whatever the reason, if the only reason to listen to him would be "I make videos that a lot of people watch on a completely different subject", I’m happy not to be listening to him.

I don’t really care, other than this stuff potentially damages the availability of distribution of independent cinema, and I for one don’t want Netflix to be sticking to Adam Sandler movies because people who’d never normally have watched a movie were outraged.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Uh you’ve got shots that focus on 11 year old crotches and butts over and over but sure, nothing to see here."

You also have far worse things in the US than what was in a French arthouse movie that you dumbasses wouldn’t even have known existed had Netflix not run a poorly judged ad campaign…

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"There’s worse stuff elsewhere so this less worse thing is beyond critique."

That’s not what I said. But, there’s so much energy being expended on this particular movie while the worse stuff goes uncriticised. That seems pretty dumb, especially since the argument boils down to "French people watch stuff Americans don’t like", which is perhaps the dumbest such take since Americans boycotted the American mustard brand French’s.

"This place has degraded significantly over the years."

Yet, you are still here…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I do stop by from time to time to listen and learn about things I don’t see covered elsewhere, but the objectivity has eroded over time and it’s been painful to watch. Most stories now read like a sermon, with the authors preaching their opinion as indisputable facts with a strong vibe of condescension.

Anyway thank you for the discussion.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"the objectivity has eroded over time and it’s been painful to watch"

This site has always been an opinion blog. If you thought it was a neutral source, you may have been mistaken.

"Most stories now read like a sermon, with the authors preaching their opinion as indisputable facts with a strong vibe of condescension."

If you disagree with the takes provided, consider providing a rebuttal rather than whining that they didn’t agree with you.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"What a pointless observation. There’s worse stuff elsewhere so this less worse thing is beyond critique. "

No, this depiction of what happens to many pre-teens growing up could be subjected to a great deal of critique but not because it accurately portrays reality.

It’s just that shooting messengers always serves to worse the reality.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"You guys are so blinded by your biases you can’t see five inches in front of your nose."

Says the man who obviously hasn’t watched the movie – and probably not the Netflix trailer nor any actual review of it either.

Fyi the movie appears to be a documentary made by a director relating her own experiences growing up as an immigrant child in a society whose focus on sexualized teenagers influences children in an unhealthy way.

It’s a french art house movie which basically shows a credible way in which children end up mimicking teen idols, bereft of information as to why this is not a good idea.

"Uh you’ve got shots that focus on 11 year old crotches and butts over and over but sure, nothing to see here. "

You mean like a standard US pre-teen beauty pageant in such stalwartly "conservative" states like Texas? The only thing that movie shows is that there’s something fundamentally wrong in the way real society works, particularly in hypocritical places where showing what happens in real life is an unforgivable sin.

And here you are, Baghdad Bob, shooting the messenger like every other idiot who got stuck on Netflix being morons about trying to sell the film as "controversial" by picking the worst possible out-of-context bits possible.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Mea Culpa. So a plausible emulation of events then.

I’m not exactly keen on french art house either but they could have shot that movie in quite a lot of major cities in the western world without even a single actor hired to do the roles.

That points to deflection and denial being the root of the outrage, with the real crime daring to bring to the screen a depiction of stuff that actually happens all the damn time. It’s just easier to condemn a movie rather than shut down teen beauty pageants or teach young children why it’s a bad idea for them to emulate horny 16-18 year olds and the artists catering to that age category.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Also.

That points to deflection and denial being the root of the outrage, with the real crime daring to bring to the screen a depiction of stuff that actually happens all the damn time.

I know shit like the dance routines shown in the film happens all the damn time in various parts of the world — especially in the United States. (South Park dedicated part of the episode “Dead Celebrities” to mocking child beauty pageants and their judges.) I’m not any more approving of it happening in those contexts. And since the filmmaker asked young girls to voluntarily perform the same sexualized dance routines she sought to critcize? Even if she did it to make a point, she still sexualized children, so…yeah…

(Don’t get me wrong — I’m not calling for censorship of the film. But she doesn’t get a pass on criticism and critique of her film only because she based it on her own experiences.)

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Also.

Things like this happen all the time and if you’re outraged at this and not, say, Honey Boo Boo then you’re a hypocrite. But things happen on screen all the time that would not be acceptable in real life so I can’t really get on with that stuff. Especially since the film was not controversial where it was made, and half the outrage is from people looking at a poster not made or approved by the filmmaker.

“ But she doesn’t get a pass on criticism and critique of her film only because she based it on her own experiences.)”

So, real life is to be avoided because a depiction might be uncomfortable? While violent and sexual fantasy is ok? I’m not ok with that. If any Netflix movie deserved this criticism it’s the rape fantasy of 365 Days, but that doesn’t feed in to Qanon talking points…

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

if you’re outraged at this and not, say, Honey Boo Boo then you’re a hypocrite

Where did I say I wasn’t outraged by the Honey Boo Boo stuff? Show me where I said that or stop assuming I approve of it simply because I didn’t use that exact name when I said otherwise.

the film was not controversial where it was made

Different standards, different morals, different ideas on what is and isn’t acceptable. I’m not saying they’re better or worse than those in the United States — I’m saying they’re different and leaving it at that.

half the outrage is from people looking at a poster not made or approved by the filmmaker

I voluntarily watched about fifteen seconds of a clip of one of the dance routines shown in the film. That was all I could take before I had to close the tab. Whether you want to call me a cowardly bourgeois American is on you, but I’m not about to say “oh well this is fine because it’s just a dramatization”.

So,

I don’t respond to otherwording.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"Show me where I said that or stop assuming I approve of it simply because I didn’t use that exact name when I said otherwise."

I’m saying that outrage over this while not displaying outrage over the very culture it’s criticising rings a little hollow. If anything, it should be a little disturbing that this French/Senegalese woman, making an autobiographical story where such things were a big influence on her, results in this sort of imported (to her) influence.

"I’m not saying they’re better or worse than those in the United States — I’m saying they’re different and leaving it at that."

American values are rather prudish compared to the rest of the world, especially when it comes to sexuality, so accusing other people of pedophilia because they’re more open than most Americans (other than Larry Clark) would be seems wrong.

"I voluntarily watched about fifteen seconds of a clip of one of the dance routines shown in the film"

So, you didn’t bother with pesky things like context. That’s my point.

"I don’t respond to otherwording."

But you will to imaginary intents on what you imagine the director to want.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

I’m saying that outrage over this while not displaying outrage over the very culture it’s criticising rings a little hollow.

Show me where I said I wasn’t outraged by other examples of child sexualization in the media. I’ll wait.

it should be a little disturbing that this French/Senegalese woman, making an autobiographical story where such things were a big influence on her, results in this sort of imported (to her) influence

When the world can judge a work of art, don’t be surprised when the world doesn’t share the same opinion — or the opinion of the artist.

accusing other people of pedophilia

I didn’t do that, either. While pedophiles can (and do) sexualize children, not everyone who sexualizes children is a pedophile. (Pageant mothers can’t all be pedophiles only because they push their daughters to do the kind of dancing displayed in the film.)

you didn’t bother with pesky things like context

No context could make watching that dance sequence — in part or in whole — any less disturbing to me.

you will to imaginary intents on what you imagine the director to want

I have not, at any point in this discussion, “imagined” the intent of the director of the film. I’m well aware of her intent. What I’ve done is try to point out how impact matters more than intent. For example: Someone who says racist bullshit can claim “I didn’t intend to be racist”, but the impact of their actions (i.e., exposing their racist beliefs) overrides their supposed intent.

Someone who thinks the film might qualify as CSAM — and I am not saying it does, so don’t shove those words down my throat — has every right to feel that way regardless of the director’s intent. Whether you think they’re wrong doesn’t matter in that regard.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

"When the world can judge a work of art, don’t be surprised when the world doesn’t share the same opinion — or the opinion of the artist."

That’s all good then. Controversy is a large part of art. And saying "OK, I don’t like this" is a healthy response to a work.

My personal issue is where people mistake their opinion on an art piece as a sort of natural reaction any right-thinking person should have.

And this gets especially toxic when the loudest detractors of the entartete kunst also happen to be conservatives republicans who see nothing wrong in their century-old tradition of putting young girls on display in beauty pageants meant to select which of those girls is the most physically attractive.

"Someone who thinks the film might qualify as CSAM — and I am not saying it does, so don’t shove those words down my throat — has every right to feel that way…"

Granted, but that mindset is similar to believing that a movie like "Snatch" is in itself, or will lead to, conspiracy to commit grand larceny, murder and animal abuse. Or for that matter that a black lives matter demonstrator is naturally a rioter. Borders between concepts matter and it’s not healthy to encourage those who cross them without context or cause.

I personally can’t see any eroticism in the depiction of a child trying to dance provocatively – i just find it embarrassing to see. To me those screaming CSAM at this simply confess that to them, they can see something erotic about it.

AS has been heard so often around here when it comes to "conservatives"; Every Accusation, A Confession.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

"Show me where I said I wasn’t outraged by other examples of child sexualization in the media. I’ll wait."

You haven’t said you’re not either, but you are outraged by something directly critiquing those things. Which suggests you’re fine with the original b ut not the critique.

"When the world can judge a work of art, don’t be surprised when the world doesn’t share the same opinion — or the opinion of the artist"

Disagreement is fine. It’s when people start for censorship, banning or other interference that it’s a problem – doubly so when the people outraged haven’t even seen the thing they’re raging against.

"No context could make watching that dance sequence — in part or in whole — any less disturbing to me."

Did you consider that in the context of the movie it’s MEANT to be disturbing? Not all cinema is meant to be there to wrap you up in cotton wool and present a desirable thing to you at every moment.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

"Did you consider that in the context of the movie it’s MEANT to be disturbing? Not all cinema is meant to be there to wrap you up in cotton wool and present a desirable thing to you at every moment."

It’s an unfortunate fact that this is what most modern americans expect from cinema and film. Nefarious plot. Gritty hero. Obvious villain. Big Drama. Happy Ending.

It’s endemic for the whole west but the US in particular that we’ve stopped wanting to see or hear the most upsetting news, or anything we find tasteless or frightening – to the point where I’m convinced most pulitzer prize winners of times past would, today, find themselves hit with CSAM charges for documenting atrocities…

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

"The fact that mainstream audiences avoid such things until Netflix shows them an ad is the problem here."

That’s my point. Movies are indeed made which provoke, illustrate, or challenge societal norms. But if they become known at all it’ll be because some religious nutcase somewhere started screaming about entartete kunst loudly enough.

Everyone wants history and the present sufficiently sanitized so as to tolerate living in it or looking back on it with the proper amount of feel-good. And cthulhu help anyone pointing out that reality isn’t that rosy.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

"Everyone wants history and the present sufficiently sanitized"

Not everyone, which is why this stuff is so important to protect. To give a random past example – 1980 was a great movie for mainstream cinema, with Empire Strikes Back, 9 to 5, Private Benjamin, Airplane!, The Blues Brothers, etc. dominating the box office. It’s also the year of Cannibal Holocaust, Maniac, Cruising, and many other challenging and controversial films that I feel are as important to that year as the box office winners.

I want 1980 to be possible in every year, and there are many filmmakers and audiences who agree with me. The danger here is that if these idiots manage to guide the output of streaming services because they were exposed to something they’d never have normally known existed, then independent filmmakers lose an important outlet for their work – and I don’t want a world where they don’t have a voice or means to distribute.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Also.

Things like this happen all the time and if you’re outraged at this and not, say, Honey Boo Boo then you’re a hypocrite. But things happen on screen all the time that would not be acceptable in real life so I can’t really get on with that stuff. Especially since the film was not controversial where it was made, and half the outrage is from people looking at a poster not made or approved by the filmmaker.

“ But she doesn’t get a pass on criticism and critique of her film only because she based it on her own experiences.)”

So, real life is to be avoided because a depiction might be uncomfortable? While violent and sexual fantasy is ok? I’m not ok with that. If any Netflix movie deserved this criticism it’s the rape fantasy of 365 Days, but that doesn’t feed in to Qanon talking points…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Also.

Things like this happen all the time and if you’re outraged at this and not, say, Honey Boo Boo then you’re a hypocrite. But things happen on screen all the time that would not be acceptable in real life so I can’t really get on with that stuff. Especially since the film was not controversial where it was made, and half the outrage is from people looking at a poster not made or approved by the filmmaker.

“ But she doesn’t get a pass on criticism and critique of her film only because she based it on her own experiences.)”

So, real life is to be avoided because a depiction might be uncomfortable? While violent and sexual fantasy is ok? I’m not ok with that. If any Netflix movie deserved this criticism it’s the rape fantasy of 365 Days, but that doesn’t feed in to Qanon talking points…

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Why are you presuming to know that I haven’t watched the film? "

Well, I assume you could have watched the film and are just lying through your teeth about it the way you usually do…
…but you’re right, Baghdad Bob, I shouldn’t make any assumptions about you, for once, being truthful.

"Is there a crystal ball near you?"

Well yes – you. Now if you want to tell me that you did watch that film and are knowingly tossing out lies and falsehoods in blatant shitposting then by all means, I’ll take your word for that.

"By your impeccable logic if a child gets sexually abused making a film showing a child being sexually abused is perfectly kosher."

Ah, moving the goalposts, how quaint. No, Baghdad Bob, a film which depicts as deplorable the unknowing self-sexualization of children trying to emulate their idols isn’t a depiction of sexual abuse. It is however very valid societal criticism meant to tell people "Now see, this is what happens, maybe we should change a few things".

I can’t say I’m surprised to see that one going right over your head with a whooshing sound, proportionality being as strong a card in your hand as your sense of reason and consistency.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"Wait, who is Bagdad Bob? I think you have me confused with someone else…"

There’s a regular poster who comments anonymously while making the dumbest points that comes to his mind while whining about how the site doesn’t write the stories he wants to read. If you dislike this mistaken identity, consider providing constructive criticism or a way to differentiate yourself from the stupider anonymous cowards.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Speaking of shitposting, here’s a good example of that:

Cuties, the stupid non-controversy against Netflix that simply will not go away. The film, which won awards at international film festivals, centers on a pre-teen and is a coming of age story about a young lady growing up in both a strictly conservative upbringing combined with living in the hyper-sexualized Western culture. While the whole story is about this juxtaposition, Netflix rather stupidly promoted the film using images that focused on the latter. The result was chaos, with large swaths of Quaker-Twitter screaming about boycotting Netflix entirely and one pandering prosecutor in Texas bringing an indictment against Netflix for promotion of lewd visual material depicting a child.
With everyone very quickly lighting themselves on fire over an award winning film…

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"Speaking of shitposting, here’s a good example of that:"

No, it an accurate description of the American controversy surrounding a French film that generated zero such controversy in the place it was made. Where it just so happened that the film was marketed without the unfortunate sexual overtones that Netflix chose to market it with in the US, thus generating outcry from people who have not seen it and are basing their outrage on a poster.

You’re free to provide actual criticism or rebuttals to the points in the article, if you’re brave enough not to whine and run away when challenged.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"Well, I saw the film and had to quit watching halfway through"

So, you didn’t actually see the film…

"As for the running away thing, that’s a childish thing to say in a discussion, would you agree?"

Sadly, regular shitposters here like Koby and the AC you’ve been confused with will run away whenever they get actual pushback on their claims so we come to expect it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

I saw more than enough my friend. Context doesn’t matter when kids are being overtly sexualized. There are lines you simply shouldn’t cross, which were crossed repeatedly. There as one scene in particular where the girl was simulating Sex on the floor which was outrageous.

Regarding context: If you have a barrel of sewage and you add a teaspoon of fine wine, you get sewage. But if you have a barrel of fine wine and add a teaspoon of sewage you still get sewage.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

"There as one scene in particular where the girl was simulating Sex on the floor which was outrageous."

That was the point, genius. It went too far, which was what was being criticised.

There’s a world of transgressive cinema out there that exists to challenge the viewer and force them to question the harshness of reality. This isn’t even close to the boundaries of that type of thing, and while you’re obsessing over it, I can’t help but wonder what part of real life it’s confronting that you ignore in your daily life.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

“Obsessing”? I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

There was nothing to indicate in the first half of the film that anything shown regarding the close up of crotches was for any other purpose than voyeurism, and there is a reason for that. The film is child exploitation wrapped in a protective cloak of “art”. If you cannot see that obvious sleight of hand I feel sorry for you because you are an easy target to be just the kind of shill the producers can use as a shield…

And here we are.

This is like the cop that argues the arrested perp kept deliberately banging his head Into the cop’s baton while the angelic cop did everything he could to prevent it and keep the perp safe. I think i saw that on South Park.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

"There was nothing to indicate in the first half of the film that anything shown regarding the close up of crotches was for any other purpose than voyeurism, and there is a reason for that"

You didn’t understand the intention of a person not from your own culture, or you were predetermined to see it in that light because there was controversy over a movie you would never have watched if someone else wasn’t telling you how bad it was? Help me out, what is the reason why this movie made you react in such a way but Pretty Baby did not.

"If you cannot see that obvious sleight of hand I feel sorry for you because you are an easy target to be just the kind of shill the producers can use as a shield.."

Or, I understand that a relatively mild movie that generated no controversy in its home country was picked up by QAnon weirdos because they could pretend it keyed into one of its obsessions just before an election.

"I think i saw that on South Park."

I have difficulty believing that an actual South Park fan would be so disturbed by something so tame in comparison.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

…and, I might add, one which is still well respected for it’s portrayal of what some critics called a "sad chapter of americana".

It’s a recurring trend, I think. No one wants to know about the stains marring the glorious image of the nation, which is why the GOP cheered so widely at Trump’s suggestion of including history revisionism in school curriculums.

Ten years from now even Epstein will have become that one lonely exception of the "honorable upper class".

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

"he film is child exploitation wrapped in a protective cloak of “art”. If you cannot see that obvious sleight of hand I feel sorry for you because you are an easy target to be just the kind of shill the producers can use as a shield…"

You realize, I hope, that the "producers" is a woman making a dramatization of her own experiences growing up?
Nice way to blame the victim for sharing there, sport.

"This is like the cop that argues the arrested perp kept deliberately banging his head Into the cop’s baton while the angelic cop did everything he could to prevent it and keep the perp safe. I think i saw that on South Park."

Yeah, the same way Floyd forced a cop to sit on his throat until he choked and Blake turned his back on a cop and by some weird magic forced the cop to fire seven shots into his back. Or the way Davis really meant to harrass the poor officers by bleeding on their uniforms in a cell altercation where the security camera recording was mysteriously taped over.

If south park is your image of reality then I suddenly understand the confusion.

The film discussed is upsetting. Tasteless. Embarrassing. Even outrageous. If it was pure fiction the proper reaction would be "Well, there go two hours of my life I want refunded".

But it’s not pure fiction, which suggests to me the proper response is to start looking at the societal oversexualizations of children – beauty pageants featuring the physical attractiveness of children, pole dancing and stripper routines for the very young for example – and start thinking what part in society has gone wrong when a non-insignificant portion of "culture and entertainment" features explicitly preparing young girls for their future of growing up to be the dick ornament of some random guy.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

"There as one scene in particular where the girl was simulating Sex on the floor which was outrageous. "

And I, for one, am happy to see that this generates the expected outrage. One of the primary functions of art is to depict society’s uglier sides. I’d be even happier – by a whole lot – if that meant someone would start taking steps to ensure future dramatizations of actual events wouldn’t have such a rich history of the unacceptable happening in real life to draw on.

"Regarding context: If you have a barrel of sewage and you add a teaspoon of fine wine, you get sewage. But if you have a barrel of fine wine and add a teaspoon of sewage you still get sewage."

True enough, but if you take a picture of a barrel of sewage what you get isn’t sewage. It’s a tasteless picture. And if that picture is showing the barrel of wine the vintner just tipped a ladle of sewage into then that picture is a net positive for society – because it means that vintner is hopefully not selling any more sewage-flavoured wine any time soon.

The film is unpleasant. Embarrassing. Tasteless. And also a fairly true depiction of what goes on in real life. That’s a message. If the content of that message is upsetting then one suggests we thank the messenger and look to what we can do to ensure young teens stop thinking what they need to aspire to is "Be an ornament to some dude’s dick" rather than "Hey, what would you like to learn and do in life?".

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I made it to the scene where the main character missed an important dance audition with her new friends due to her family obligations. Her friends were badmouthing her as she returned home revealing blood in her pants.

I’ve seen clips of the other controversial scenes, although I may have missed the one at the end you’re referring to.

One thing that stuck out is that smart phones seem to have a big influence on the characters actions. The glaring problem with this plot device is that according to wikipedia, the filmmaker was born in 1985 and would have been eleven in 1996, a year I remember fondly because it was the year my friend lent me Chrono Trigger. Smart phones were science fiction back then. I was browsing the internet via netscape and altavista.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"I’ve seen clips of the other controversial scenes"

No doubt deliberately edited to remove context, weight and consequences, but maximise outrage among those who won’t actually watch the thing.

"The glaring problem with this plot device is that according to wikipedia, the filmmaker was born in 1985 and would have been eleven in 1996"

So… a person cannot take from her personal experiences growing up and apply them to the modern generation, they have to set it in a certain year?

"I was browsing the internet via netscape and altavista."

So was I – I could also access porn and stuff that wouldn’t be suitable to girls the age depicted in the movie. So?

JMT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"I did watch half of it."

When someone calls into question your entire argument by accusing you of obviously not watching the movie, and the first words in your response aren’t "Actually I did…", I’m going to comfortably assume you didn’t and take your belated claim that you did with a grain of salt…

"Did you watch it JMT?"

I haven’t and probably won’t, it’s just not a story I’m that interested in. But I have read several reviews with varying opinions and believe the moral outrage is totally overblown. It’s pretty obvious most of the backlash is from people who’ve only seen the ham-fisted Netflix marketing campaign and not the actual message of the film. Even if you’ve watched half of it, I’m gonna stick you in that group anyway.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

You Feel free to do whatever puts your mind at ease, just be careful not to count yourself as a neutral arbiter of anything you will not at least attempt to be investigate yourself, otherwise – to dredge up Miller – you’re more full of shit than a porta-potty at the Lollapalooza Festival.

When did ignorance become a virtue around here?

As J. Stewart would sagely advise JMT: keep banging that chicken.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"When did ignorance become a virtue around here?"

I don’t know, when did you start believing it was a good way to be?

Unless you’re trying to say that the people saying "watch the film and understand its context coming from a different culture before attacking it" are being ignorant, in which case you might need to share the pretzel twisting logic you’re using and maybe some warm up exercises we can do before trying to do that amount of stretching.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

You remind me of a Jewish rabbi explaining that raping 3 year olds is not what was meant when their holy book didn’t consider it a crime.

They excuse that by saying it’s all about context and interpretation. They’ll tell you your misunderstanding and aren’t allowed to criticize it because us goy aren’t Jewish and as a result couldn’t possibly understand it.

Keep up the moral relativism kiddo, you’re bound to find truth in there somewhere just keep digging.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

"You remind me of a Jewish rabbi explaining that raping 3 year olds is not what was meant when their holy book didn’t consider it a crime. "

If what you refer to is the practice of circumcision then there are two things to say;

1) The practice of genital mutilation should be restricted to consenting adults choosing to undergo said practice.

2) The focus on linking jews and child rape is, at best, very unfortunate and irrespective of motivation a dog whistle for the Very Fine People.

"Keep up the moral relativism kiddo…"

This from a guy who just quoted bona fide antisemitic propaganda verbatim? You know how we can tell your aversion against infant circumcision is dragging something far uglier on it’s coattails, bro?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

"If what you refer to is the practice of circumcision then there are two things to say"

I think what he’s saying is that he’s the kind of moron who believes in Jewish controlled media (when it’s not more convenient to believe in Chinese controlled media), and he’s unable to understand that "Hollywood" and an independent French movie directed by a Muslim Senegalese immigrant are not the same thing.

"This from a guy who just quoted bona fide antisemitic propaganda verbatim?"

It is nice when these guys reveal themselves.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

"It is nice when these guys reveal themselves."

It’s almost unavoidable. Take Koby for instance – he’s able to argue normally as long as the topic doesn’t concern free speech. At that point he has to walk away because there is no way to politely express his motivation and logical conclusion without openly unfolding a swastika banner or confederate flag.

There are any number of people who’ve raised the issue of male circumcision with the idea to fold it into the same category of female circumcision – body mutilation of infants for religious or cultural reasons. But no racist or anti-semite is able to apply the general view that religion and culture shouldn’t be used to override human rights, for good and valid reason – that would conflict with the rest of their beliefs.

So they’re left trying to somehow shoehorn an otherwise sound humanitarian principle into their argument while aiming it specifically against a minority without getting any of it on themselves.

That’s why racists and bigots can’t debate. Their arguments always lead into logical dead ends.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

"You remind me of a Jewish rabbi explaining that raping 3 year olds is not what was meant when their holy book didn’t consider it a crime."

Your fantasies are your own, I just don’t agree that a fictional representation of something that actually happened should be taboo. Perhaps you’re happier in ignorance, but I prefer art that deals with the real world with all its flaws.

"They excuse that by saying it’s all about context and interpretation."

Yes, as it always has been. Art is funny like that.

"us goy aren’t Jewish and as a result couldn’t possibly understand it."

Are you saying that either I, or the director of the movie in question, are Jewish? Whatever you’re taking, you really need to cut down.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: “Young Lady” — True words from a real pedophile

You seem very knowledgeable about pedophiles. Certainly more knowledgeable than the woman who made a movie about her life experiences and was shocked when a foreign corporation made a weird decision with their advertising. Why is that I wonder?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: “Young Lady” — True words from a real pedophile

"You seem very knowledgeable about pedophiles."

Every accusation, a confession?

It could also be Baghdad Bob’s just using his normal case of dunning-kruger to once again make confident accusations of "How X works" which later on turns out to be some out-of-context hyperbole lifted from a shoddy google query not delivering the results he was actually looking for. I mean he’s tried the same "argument from unassailable ignorance" when it comes to law, IT, business and history – so now I guess we know there really is no bottom line to what he wants to claim expertise about.

I’m sure genuines pedos deliver those lines the way he said, probably while twirling their moustache and tying said young girl to the train tracks somewhere. Right. Because in Baghdad Bob’s little world Bad People are cartoonish movie villains eager to brag themselves into a full confession, on camera, with smug grins.

Personally I’d suspect genuine pedos, unless they’re truly beyond the pale for even that category of sick folk, are probably drop-dead silent about their sick hobbies. But I have to confess to not being an expert on that.
Just logically assuming most criminals don’t end up confessing to statutory rape in front of police in the smug tone of a cat aficionado ordering Mr. Bond to be dropped into the shark tank.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"…pointing out the obvious parallel between unwanted cable tv channels and unwanted Netflix series/movies (on top of the internet access fee) escapes you?"

Because there’s no parallell;

Cable –> tied to your damn broadband connection with no actual choice.

Netflix –> Ok, this sucks now, I’ll quit that subscription and try out Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, HBO Max or Peacock.

But don’t let the difference between a monopoly and actual choice confuse you.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

"Cable –> tied to your damn broadband connection with no actual choice."
Nice try, but you forgot the part where you’re only paying the ISP/Cable monopoly ONCE (1 TIME) for cable tv — as opposed to twice for Netflix.
Also Netflix is not Hulu is not Disney+…they’re all just basically different cable companies that you’re paying (1) the local ISP/Cable monopoly a fee to have access to (2) on top of paying a separate subscription PER streaming service. You’re paying TWICE for access to entertainment.
You’re probably fine with those shopping clubs too, where you pay twice to shop: Once for the membership to the shopping club (e.g. Costco, Sams Club), and once again for the actual food that you leave the store with.
I’d just rather pay one time for my groceries, but hey?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Once again, we’ll have to agree to disagree. Thanks for your input.
I don’t understand how that fact that you have to pay both your ISP as well as the streaming service (which means paying twice) is dishonest though.
You’ve also admitted that the price of your Netflix subscription has increased (as I assume it has for all Netflix customers), so I don’t see where I was dishonest there either.
*You (generally) do pay less by dropping cable and substituting it with streaming services, but the prices for both internet access and streaming are increasing, so I don’t understand why you consider my sentiment that your ‘window of savings’ is decreasing to be dishonest either.
Good day, Sir Paul.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

I don’t understand how that fact that you have to pay both your ISP as well as the streaming service (which means paying twice) is dishonest though.

It’s like complaining that you’re paying twice for your car: once to buy the car, and a second time to put gas in it. You need to do both to drive your car, but they’re separate purchases to unrelated parties.

See Scary Devil Monastery’s response for a more thorough explanation of why this point is dumb.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

"Once again, we’ll have to agree to disagree"

This isn’t a matter of opinion. You’re fundamentally wrong about how you’re pretending that a vibrant free market is the same as a defacto monopoly.

"You’ve also admitted that the price of your Netflix subscription has increased"

As has the value for money, and I can decide to drop the sub tomorrow without penalty. What’s the problem?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Anyone with a cable subscription could also drop it tomorrow without penalty. Just like no one likes every single channel in their given cable package, no one likes every single show/series on a streaming service. In this, cable tv and streaming services are similar in that customers of both are paying for stuff they have no interest in watching.

The fact that Internet access + streaming is cheaper than internet access + cable tv has never been in dispute. Having multiple ISPs to choose from in every (major) city would provide the necessary competition to at least keep the internet access fees in check. Probably would not affect streaming pricing at all though.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

"Anyone with a cable subscription could also drop it tomorrow without penalty."

That’s not what I’ve heard, especially in areas with no real competition for the ISP side of the package, but I live in a country without such problems so I’ll take you at your word.

Given that – what is the problem with paying Netflix for Netflix’s content? Are you saying that all entertainment media should be included in your ISP package? That all services should bow to your personal needs rather than you choosing which (if any) fit your personal tastes?

"In this, cable tv and streaming services are similar in that customers of both are paying for stuff they have no interest in watching."

You’re really, really stretching with this analogy. What would you prefer – paying individually for content (a choice you ALREADY have)? A thousand extra options to be created so that you can pare your access down to what you personally want so that you can maybe save $1/month on your subscription (assuming the overheads you just created don’t eat up that saving)? What’s your choice here?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"Nice try, but you forgot the part where I’m gonna lie and bullshit a bit…"

Fixed that for you.

"you’re only paying the ISP/Cable monopoly ONCE (1 TIME) for cable tv — as opposed to twice for Netflix. "

Nope. You pay your ISP for broadband, irrespective of whether you then choose to pay for ANY streaming or cable solution at all. If you pick cable you pay a lot more on your broadband invoice.

"Also Netflix is not Hulu is not Disney+…they’re all just basically different cable companies that you’re paying (1) the local ISP/Cable monopoly a fee to have access to (2) on top of paying a separate subscription PER streaming service. You’re paying TWICE for access to entertainment. "

Are you high?

1) You always pay to have internet, because that’s a necessity today.

2) The cable option still costs extra, and usually a lot more than a streaming provider.

3) Unlike cable you can choose to have netflix today, Huly next month, Disney+ next again, or whatever combination you want.

Your entire argument is rooted around the idea that every cord cutter in the US is so shit at basic math they are unable to balance the household budget well enough to find the option they lose least money from.

The same logic you apply right there means we need to buy all our household appliances through the power company as well, because only a moron would go shopping.

"You’re probably fine with those shopping clubs too, where you pay twice to shop"

Only if the sum total of paying twice is less than I’d otherwise be paying to get the equivalent goods elsewhere.

"I’d just rather pay one time for my groceries, but hey?"

Yeah, as long as it’s all one that one invoice you don’t give a shit if the total you’re paying is twice as much as otherwise and you’re locked into only that one grocer’s subscription model for a year.

God damn. Beati pauperes spiritu.

Pro tip, bro. when you don’t know how to math on kindergarten level you might want to let your s.o. balance the household budget.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Actually, I have to pay separate fees for both the cable box and the service cable provides. It wasn’t “pay once and you’re done”. That they’re going to the same company is irrelevant. Also, Netflix is less expensive than cable.

You know what else? You pay twice to play video games too! Once for the machine and once for the game! Same with DVDs or CDs. Or with apps on the App Store. How is this news to you? Entertainment isn’t like groceries.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"You must own stock."

No, I own an internet connection that allows me access to news stories that report those figures.

"Netflix–>pay (increasingly) for series/movies you don’t want"

I don’t know which service you’re paying for, but my problem with Netflix is that I don’t have time to watch everything I want to watch on there, and I’m still paying less than I would have done to rent 3 movies from Blockbuster back in the day.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"I don’t know which service you’re paying for, but my problem with Netflix is that I don’t have time to watch everything I want to watch on there, and I’m still paying less than I would have done to rent 3 movies from Blockbuster back in the day."
Maybe it’s different over there, but here in the US the price for a Netflix subscription has risen over the years. I guess in Europe prices just stay the same, or they decline over time. Must be nice.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"Maybe it’s different over there, but here in the US the price for a Netflix subscription has risen over the years"

It has here as well. Standard sub in the UK is currently £8.99 / £11.99 premium, and I remember paying £3.99 for individual new release rentals 20 years ago (similar prices in Euros but I still have a UK sub as it wasn’t available in Spain when I signed up). I believe a standard sub was £5.99 on launch, but that’s going from memory.

"I guess in Europe prices just stay the same, or they decline over time"

You guess wrong, but you’re apparently intent on basing your assertions on fiction, so go for it.

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Arty Sham says:

Netflix is big enough doesn't need tiny Techdirt's support,

so WHY are you squandering what little cred you have on yet another defense?

This is Techdirt’s long-term pattern of tearing at civil society. New readers can search for a dozen pieces in which Techdirt wants the "Playpen" downloaders let off by a mere Court rule.

WHY do this when there’s NO positive possible for society or Techdirt here?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Netflix is big enough doesn't need tiny Techdirt's support,

"WHY do this when there’s NO positive possible for society or Techdirt here?"

Go read that basic old discourse by William Roper and Sir Thomas More about "principles of law" you nitwit. Anyone who isn’t a gibbering idiot knows the history lesson on letting good jurisprudens and civil rights slide when it’s convenient because the one targeted right now is an unpleasant asshat.

So there’s indeed a great boon for society as a whole in abiding by principles.

But for you, I guess it’s unthinkable because as we’ve observed so often, you don’t have any.

Re-reading that old debate where you lost your marbles completely I think Geigner was a bit too nice. I’d go ahead and call you a willfully ignorant motherfucker. Maybe if you weren’t such a compulsively malicious asshole you might be able to change that, but as your years on Torrentfreak and Techdirt has shown, you just don’t want to stop being an unpleasant shitwit.

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Arty Sham says:

Netflix subscription cancellations skyrocket

Antenna reported that Netflix lost five times as many subscribers in September’s first couple of weeks – a few days into the protest – than the company lost in all of August.

YipitData gave even grimmer numbers, putting September cancellations at 8 times of those in August and declaring the drop "a multi-year high."

https://nypost.com/2020/10/24/netflix-subscription-cancellations-skyrocket-after-cuties-backlash/

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

"Netflix subscription cancellations skyrocket"

Just about every regular commenter here has been clamoring over how daft netflix has been for the way they trailered that movie. So yes, now they lose customers. And…?

As per usual for you you just can’t imagine why anyone would object to a dumb thing without having a vested interest, can you?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Yeah, even if the subscription losses have been due to this specific movie rather than the many other possibilities (unlikely, but let’s go with that), all that’s happening here is the market speaking and competition and choice allowing people to vote with their wallets.

That’s literally the best thing anyone here would want. No whining about someone protecting Netflix’s business model or forcing people to subscribe or forcing the type of content on Netflix. Just simple free market business.

It’s funny to see the usual moron brigade both miss the entire point of the argument and the fact that the result is what people have been saying should happen. Yet, old Bob is apparently yet again not satisfied unless we get some good old Communist takeover of private property.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"It’s funny to see the usual moron brigade both miss the entire point of the argument and the fact that the result is what people have been saying should happen."

Well, you know my hypothesis that Baghdad Bob’s really just an iteration of Googlebot someone tried to program to only use malicious troll rhetoric…

My alternative theory, where Baghdad Bob is a hard case dyslexic who only recognizes trigger words and then goes on to scramble word salads out of randomly put together cue card one-liners is almost as likely though.

"Yet, old Bob is apparently yet again not satisfied unless we get some good old Communist takeover of private property."

…with the added twist that the only thing which should be owned is other people’s information no less. I’m not sure even Stalin himself could come up with that twisted an interpretation of poor old Karl’s theories on the dialectic of the proletariat.

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