The streaming service Netflix is facing a major backlash over its release of the new Italian drama titled “Baby,” which critics say glamorizes teen sex trafficking.
The series, which premiered Friday, tells the story of two wealthy teen girls who, after becoming disillusioned with their own lives, are drawn into Rome’s seedy underworld of prostitution.
Now the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is taking Netflix to task for normalizing “child sexual abuse and the sex trafficking of minors as ‘prostitution.'”
“Despite being at ground zero of the #MeToo movement, Netflix appears to have gone completely tone-deaf on the realities of sexual exploitation,” NCOSE Executive Director Dawn Hawkins said.
“Despite the outcry from survivors of sex trafficking, subject matter experts, and social service providers, Netflix promotes sex trafficking by insisting on streaming ‘Baby,'” she charged.
“Clearly, Netflix is prioritizing profits over victims of abuse,” Hawkins concluded.
This is not the first time Netflix has come under fire for glamorizing dark subject matter.
The series “13 Reasons Why” drew criticism for glorifying suicide. Researchers found that for almost three weeks after the show’s release there were at least 900,000-1.2 million more Google searches on “suicide” than usual.
Meanwhile, NCSOE’s vice president of advocacy and outreach, Haley Halverson, says both shows are examples of “socially irresponsible and dangerous messages.”