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Netflix Goes To Feds To Stop Child Porn

Backed against the wall, Netflix wants a Texas District Attorney stopped from hitting the streamer with child pornography charges over the coming-of-age drama Cuties. Netflix brings this Complaint to enjoin Tyler County District Attorney Lucas Babin from abusing his office and infringing Netflix, Inc.’s constitutional rights, the Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos-run streamer said in a complaint for injunctive relief filed in federal court today (read it here). This one prosecutor —out of all the prosecutors in America— has indicted Netflix not just once but five times, the complaint adds.Each indictment violates the United States Constitution and comes in retaliation against Netflix’s exercising its First Amendment rights to free speech and to petition the government for redress.

Placed in the District Court docket by the Dallas offices of law firm Carter Arnett PLLC and San Antonio-based Prichard Young LLP in the hopes of cutting off a Thursday hearing on new and more damning charges, the 29-page document further cuts straight to the chase in the unusual circumstances:

Netflix does not invoke this Court’s jurisdiction lightly. Netflix recognizes that
federal courts do not often entertain suits to enjoin state criminal actions, and
acknowledges the extraordinary nature of this action and the remedies Netflix seeks.
This is, however, an extraordinary case, and Babin’s singular and bad-faith effort to
pursue Netflix for exercising its free speech and petition rights under the First
Amendment on trumped up charges that he cannot prove as a matter of law require
extraordinary measures. Without the Court’s intervention, Netflix will suffer
irreparable harm by being forced to continue playing Babin’s game in state court and
defending itself against even more baseless charges. The Court has jurisdiction over
this case, and should grant Netflix the preliminary and permanent injunctive relief
Netflix needs to vindicate its rights for all of the reasons shown further below.

A hearing is now penciled in for March 4 on Netflix’s move to end the long running court drama. It has been a lurid legal journey to this point. An actor in the 2003 Jack Black and Richard Linklater comedy School of Rock and on The Young and The Restless several years ago, D.A. Babin first indicted Netflix over the Maïmouna Doucouré-directed Cuties back in September 2020. At the time, the political protégée said that Netflix knowingly promote visual material which depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age at the time the visual material was created, which appeals to the prurient interest in sex, and has no serious, literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.