Reuters: Netflix accused of glamorizing child sex trafficking with ‘Baby’ drama
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Survivors of sex trafficking urged Netflix on Thursday to can a new show called “Baby” – inspired by an Italian teen sex scandal – accusing the streaming service of normalizing child abuse.
In a letter to executives, they accused Netflix of double standards for glamorizing sexual exploitation, weeks after it dumped actor Kevin 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 designer clothes and mobile phones.
The racket, involving the exploitation of 14- and 15-year-old girls, was dubbed the baby squillo scandal – a term meaning underage prostitute. The letter said eight traffickers were arrested and the ringleader was jailed for 10 years.
“Netflix recently fired Kevin Spacey … To turn around and produce a show that glorifies the sex trafficking of minors and dub it ‘edgy entertainment’ is the height of hypocrisy …” said Lisa Thompson, vice president of the U.S.-based National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE).