Last week, Netflix was approved for $21.8 million in corporate incentives under New Jersey’s film tax credit program. The funding was approved by the Economic Development Authority for the production of “Army of the Dead,” an upcoming zombie movie being shot in Atlantic City.
Senator Joe Pennacchio, an outspoken critic of New Jersey’s film tax credit, was particularly upset at the award coming off the recent release of the Netflix movie, “Cuties.”
“Cuties” is a French-directed film that follows the exploits of an 11-year-old girl who joins other youngsters in a dance group, and the premature sexual awakening of the underage dancers. Pennacchio claims the movie goes too far.
“The girl’s mother in the movie is shocked by her evolution, and anyone who watches it should be nauseated,” Pennacchio said. “The sexual profiteering of children borders on criminal. It is an assault on common decency.
“On Screen, viewers see 11-year-old pre-pubescent girls spreading their legs, touching themselves, twerking their backsides and suggestively pounding the floor. This exploitation should not be tolerated either as art or an artistic indictment of a cultural disintegration,” Pennacchio continued. “We should be a society that protects and nurtures its children, not one that sacrifices their safety and innocence at the altar of the almighty dollar.
“We have the right to free speech which lets people say abhorrent things and produce disturbing videos that sexualize children in a way that I believe is inappropriate, but that doesn’t mean they have a right to have taxpayers pay to subsidize their corporate profits through our state’s film tax credits,” Pennacchio said. “It’s another reason our flawed tax credit program needs to go. We can’t allow New Jersey taxpayer dollars to support companies that churn out exploitive and disgusting garbage like ‘Cuties.’
“Now, more than ever, our society must stand up for the protection of our children. Minimally, corporations should not profit off the backs of New Jersey taxpayers,” concluded the Senator.