A new Netflix series, “Baby,” has drawn sharp criticism for glamorizing teen sex trafficking.
“Baby,” an Italian series available for streaming on Friday, is described as the story of “two teen girls from the wealthy part of Rome (who) are drawn to the city’s underworld and start leading double lives,” which includes prostitution.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), a Washington-based organization that combats child sexual abuse, sex trafficking and other forms of exploitation, says underage prostitutes are sex trafficking victims and the series trivializes and glamorizes their situation.
The group says the series is loosely based on a real-life scandal in which the mother of a teen was charged with sex trafficking.
The series “normalizes child sexual abuse and the sex trafficking of minors as ‘prostitution,'” NCOSE says in a statement.
The group, along with survivors of sex trafficking, social service providers and advocates for the abolition of sexual exploitation, wrote Netflix earlier this year to express concern about “Baby.”
“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.’ Clearly, Netflix is prioritizing profits over victims of abuse.”
Netflix has not responded to USA TODAY’s request for comment.
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