Netflix has been accused of glamourizing human trafficking following its commission of an Italian drama based on a true teen prostitution scandal.
The eight-part drama, which is based on the Baby Squillo prostitution scandal, has come under scrutiny from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), which is calling for the streaming platform to axe the series before its premiere.
“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. There are no ‘baby prostitutes’ – only sexually abused, exploited and raped children,” Vice President of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation said in a letter obtained by Deadline. “If Netflix executives care more about ending sexual exploitation in this #MeToo moment than about profiting from sexually exploitive themes, they will cancel production of this show immediately.”
The series, which is produced by Italian firm Fabula Pictures, was first ordered to series in November and is said to explore the lives of high school teenagers in Rome. It is loosely based on the true story of the Baby Squillo scandal, which saw Mauro Floriani, the husband of Mussolini’s great-granddaughter, caught in a teen prostitution scandal. He was later accused of being one of nearly 20 clients of schoolgirls who were forced to sell themselves for sex.
Netflix has not yet responded to the accusations or the letter, which was co-signed by more than 50 campaigners, social-service providers, and survivors of sex trafficking.
This story is developing…