Netflix indicted in Texas over ‘lewd’ depiction of children in ‘Cuties’

Netflix drops the ball promoting new film 'Cuties'
<> on September 15, 2014 in Paris, France.

LOS GATOS, Calif. — Netflix is now facing a criminal charge in the ongoing backlash over “Cuties,” a French film centered around a 11-year-old girl living in Paris who wants to join a local “free-spirited dance crew.”

A grand jury indictment for promotion of lewd visual material depicting a child was filed on Sept. 23 in Tyler County, Texas, according to Texas state Rep. Matt Schaefer on Twitter.

The indictment states that Netflix promoted, distributed and exhibited material which “depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age” for the “prurient interest in sex.” It also states that the material held no serious “literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”

“‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” Netflix said in a statement to NBC News on Tuesday. “This charge is without merit and we stand by the film.”

The Tyler County District Attorney’s office declined to not comment on the indictment.

Netflix apologized for its initial U.S. advertisements of the film in a statement posted to Twitter on Aug. 20, adding that the material was “not OK” and updated the pictures and description of the film. The company defended the film itself, however, telling NBC’s “Today” show last month that “Cuties” is social commentary against the sexualization of young children.