Netflix slammed for sex-themed drama

LONDON • It dropped actor Kevin Spacey, but streaming service provider Netflix is now being slammed for a U-turn in venturing into a sex-themed drama.

Survivors of sex trafficking have urged the company to can a new show called Baby - inspired by an Italian teen sex scandal - accusing it of normalising child abuse.

In a letter to executives, they accused Netflix of double standards for glamorising sexual exploitation, weeks after it dumped Spacey, star of its flagship House Of Cards drama, following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Baby, which goes into production this year, is inspired by a scandal in Rome in which teenage students from the city's wealthy Parioli district were said to have sold sex to buy branded clothes and mobile phones.

The letter said eight traffickers were arrested and the ringleader was jailed for 10 years.

Netflix's site describes the eight-parter as "a coming-of-age story that explores the unseen lives of Roman high schoolers".

The letter sent to Netflix was signed by 56 campaigners, social-service providers and survivors of sex trafficking, including some who were exploited as teenagers.

"There are no 'baby prostitutes' - only sexually abused, exploited and raped children," the letter said.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2018, with the headline 'Netflix slammed for sex-themed drama'. Print Edition | Subscribe