Netflix Series ‘Baby’ Slammed by Anti-Sexual Exploitation Group: ‘Promotes Sex Trafficking’

“Netflix appears to have gone completely tone-deaf,” Dawn Hawkins says

Last Updated: November 29, 2018 @ 11:04 AM

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has called out Netflix for its upcoming series “Baby,” saying that the Italian show “promotes sex trafficking.”

Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, says the streaming giant’s executives “have gone completely tone-deaf” and that “Netflix is prioritizing profits over victims of abuse.”

“Despite being at ground zero of the #MeToo movement, Netflix appears to have gone completely tone-deaf on the realities of sexual exploitation,” Hawkins said Thursday in a press release. “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.”

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) said it sent a letter to Netflix in January that was co-signed by dozens of sex trafficking survivors. The correspondence expressed “their deep concern” over the forthcoming drama.

“Erik Barmack, VP of International Originals at Netflix, has previously described the new show as ‘edgy.’ There is absolutely nothing ‘edgy’ about the sexual exploitation of minors,” Hawkins continued in her statement. “This show glamorizes sexual abuse and trivializes the experience of countless underage women and men who have suffered through sex trafficking.”

Netflix did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on this story.

Here is Netflix’s official logline for “Baby”:

“Baby” is a coming-of-age story that explores the unseen lives of Roman high schoolers. Loosely inspired by a true story, the series follows a group of Parioli teenagers as they defy society in their search for identity and independence against the backdrop of forbidden love, family pressures, and shared secrets.

NCOSE has its own description:

Based loosely on the account of the “Baby Squillo scandal,” the show portrays a group of teenagers entering into prostitution as a glamorized “coming-of-age” story.

“Under international and U.S. federal law, anyone engaged in commercial sex who is under 18 years old is by definition a sex trafficking victim,” the group continued. “In the real-life scandal that ‘Baby’ is based on, the mother of one of the teenagers was arrested for sex trafficking.”

The show’s six episodes are scheduled to premiere on Friday.

Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation is the leading national organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health crisis of pornography, according to the group’s mission statement.