The director of a movie produced by Netflix has had to defend a scene in the film against accusations of child pornography.
Desire, an erotic thriller made by Diego Kaplan, features a sequence in which a young girl unwittingly experiences an orgasm for the first time after imitating riding a horse with a pillow while watching a cowboy movie on TV.
Conservative commentator and journalist Megan Fox has now reported Netflix to both the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the US over the scene.
“Netflix is in violation of distributing child pornography because the child in question is very clearly engaging in the sexual act of masturbation,” she wrote in a piece on the conservative news and opinion blog PJ Media.
“And this exceeds the minimum requirement of merely being suggestive.
“The obvious next step for Netflix is real-life children engaging in sexual activity. The question must be asked. How low can the entertainment industry go? And what kind of parents took money for their child to be used in this way?”
But Kaplan has defended the scene, and in turn the parents of the children involved in it.
“Despair is a film. When we see a shark eating a woman on film, no one thinks the woman really died or that the shark was real. We work in a world of fiction; and, for me, before being a director comes being a father,” he said in a statement.
“Of course this scene was filmed using a trick, which was that the girls were copying a cowboy scene from a film by John Ford. The girls never understood what they were doing, they were just copying what they were seeing on the screen.
“No adult interacted with the girls, other than the child acting coach. Everything was done under the careful surveillance of the girls’ mothers.
“Because I knew this scene might cause some controversy at some point, there is ‘Making Of’ footage of the filming of the entire scene.
“Everything works inside the spectators’ heads, and how you think this scene was filmed will depend on your level of depravity.”
The movie has been streaming on Netflix since December 2017.