Netflix will continue to stream 365 Days despite accusations that it glorifies sex trafficking and rape

Netflix will continue to stream 365 Days despite accusations that it glorifies sex trafficking and rape
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Netflix said on Friday it will continue to stream the Polish film ‘365 Days’ amid calls for its withdrawal including by British singer Duffy who said it glamorized ‘the brutal reality of sex trafficking, kidnapping and rape’.
Welsh singer-songwriter Aimee Duffy, known as Duffy, released an open letter on Thursday to Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings, raising her concerns about the film that is based on a bestselling Polish book trilogy by Blanka Lipinska.
Described as an ‘erotic drama’, the film follows a woman, played by Polish actress Anna-Maria Sieklucka, who imprisoned by a Sicilian mafia boss, played by Italian actor Michele Morrone, who gives his hostage a year to fall in love with him.
‘It grieves me that Netflix provides a platform for such ‘cinema’, that eroticizes kidnapping and distorts sexual violence and trafficking as a ‘sexy’ movie,’ wrote Duffy, who this year published her own account of being captured and raped.
‘Tragically, victims of trafficking and kidnapping are unseen, and yet in ‘365 Days’ their suffering is made into a ‘erotic drama’, as described by Netflix.’
Duffy has noted that fans of the movie have recently been seen ‘pleading’ to leading actor Morrone to kidnap them.
She wrote: ‘I encourage the millions who have enjoyed the movie to reflect on the reality of kidnapping and trafficking, of force and sexual exploitation, and of an experience that is the polar opposite of the glossy fantasy depicted.’
The singer urges the Netflix chief to commit the company’s resources to producing content about the global problem of kidnapping and sex trafficking, which the United Nations calls a ‘grave violation of human rights.’
The singer closes her letter to Hastings with the statement, ‘When we know better, let us do better.’
Her letter, published by entertainment news website Deadline, followed a petition being set up on Change.org calling for the movie to be removed from Netflix for glorifying sex trafficking and facilitating sexual aggression towards women.
By late Friday the petition had about 6,000 signatures.
A spokesman for Netflix did not have a comment about the criticism surrounding ‘365 Days’ that debuted on the service last month to strong viewing numbers but pointed out the film carried high ratings for violence, sex, nudity and violence.
He also pointed out this was a Polish film released theatrically in several countries in February 2020 and Netflix had licensed the film and was not involved in the production.
‘We believe strongly in giving our members around the world more choice and control over their Netflix viewing experience,’ the spokesman said in emailed comments.
‘Members can choose what they do and do not want to watch by setting maturity filters at a profile level and removing specific titles to protect from content they feel is too mature.’
After landing on Netflix last month the film became the subject of widespread social media discussion thanks to its controversial depiction of sex between a kidnapper and his victim.
The storyline of the movie is based on the first book of a trilogy by Polish author Blanka Lipinska in which character Laura does not expect that on a trip to Sicily trying to save her relationship, Massimo will kidnap her and give her 365 days to fall in love with him.
The film depicts incredibly graphic sex scenes between the two lead characters, with one seeing Laura tied up in a room so she can watch Massimo have a steamy encounter with a sex worker.
In one of the movie’s most memorable scenes the pair finally have sex in a boat as Laura begins to fall under Massimo’s spell.
But their dysfunctional relationship doesn’t always run smoothly, as Massimo lashes out at Laura by dragging her into the bedroom after she sees one of his exes at a function.
Lead actor, Morrone, could not be reached for comment and Duffy’s representatives did not respond to emails for comment.
Duffy, 36, re-emerged earlier this year after almost a decade out of the spotlight with a personal account on how she had been drugged and kidnapped from her home and held captive.
In later details she said she had been drugged in her own home for four weeks and taken to a foreign country.
‘I was lucky to come away with my life, but far too many have not been so lucky,’ she wrote. ‘And now I have to witness these tragedies, and my tragedy, eroticized and demeaned.’
Duffy called on Netflix and viewers of the film to ‘learn more about human trafficking and to pledge to make a difference’ ahead of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30.
She says the movie treats ‘the serious crime of kidnapping and sex trafficking’ as ‘erotic entertainment.’
The United Nation’s International Labour Organization (ILO)and Australia-based Walk Free Foundation estimate 40.3 million people are trapped in modern slavery which includes about 4.8 million victims of sex trafficking, mainly women and girls.