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Netflix Is Charged in Texas With Promoting Lewdness in ‘Cuties’

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A Texas grand jury has indicted Netflix, prosecutors said Tuesday, on a charge of promoting lewdness in the French film “Cuties,” which has been maligned by some as child exploitation and defended by others as a complex coming-of-age story about preadolescent girls.

Netflix was served with a summons last week informing it that grand jurors in Tyler County, a county of about 21,600 people 115 miles northeast of Houston, had indicted the company for promotion of lewd visual material depicting a child, according to prosecutors.

County prosecutors said the charge was based on a Texas law that makes it illegal to “knowingly promote” material that depicts the genitals or the pubic area of a child, clothed or partially clothed, and “which appeals to the prurient interest in sex and has no serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.”

“The legislators of this state believe promoting certain lewd material of children has destructive consequences,” Lucas Babin, the county’s criminal district attorney, said in a statement. “If such material is distributed on a grand scale, isn’t the need to prosecute more, not less?”

Mr. Babin, who said he watched the film, said it was his job “to make calls every day on how to keep our communities safe.” The indictment said that Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos, the chief executives of Netflix, had “recklessly tolerated” the dissemination of the film.

Netflix said in a statement that the company stands by the film. “‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” it said. “This charge is without merit.”

It was not immediately clear what penalties Mr. Babin’s office was seeking in its case against Netflix. Its statement described the charge as a state jail felony.

The film, which was released as “Mignonnes” in France, won a directing award from the Sundance Institute in February, has been well received by many critics and created little controversy when it was released in theaters in France on Aug. 19.

But in the United States, Republican lawmakers like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas have called for the Department of Justice to investigate the film. The hashtag #CancelNetflix has trended on Twitter, with parents, politicians and conspiracy theorists calling on the streaming service to remove the film. The film has also been incorporated into the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory that alleges, falsely, that top Democrats and celebrities are behind a global child-trafficking ring.

The district attorney’s father, Representative Brian Babin, Republican of Texas, has called on Attorney General William P. Barr to bring charges against Netflix. Representative Babin has said the film “meets the U.S. legal definition of child pornography.”

In August, Netflix apologized for the artwork it created to market “Cuties” after many criticized it for inappropriately sexualizing the film’s young stars.

Defenders of the film said the company’s botched marketing campaign undermined the work of its director, the French-Senegalese filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré, who has said part of her reason for making the movie was to show the dangers of encouraging girls to be more sexualized.

The film follows an 11-year-old girl named Amy, played by Fathia Youssouf, who lives with her family, observant Muslims from Senegal, in a poor suburb of Paris. At home, the girl tries to please her mother but she becomes transfixed by a group of girls who have their own dance troupe and soon joins them, in defiance of her family’s strict rules.

On an IMDb parents’ guide, most voters rated the film’s sex and nudity as “moderate” or “severe.” Several scenes show young girls dancing suggestively in short outfits.

Netflix has described the film as “a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up.” The company added, “We’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”

Christina Morales contributed reporting.

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Fighting Zoom Fatigue? These Cards Can Help

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The co-founder of DigiCards shares how business owners can increase engagement with teams that are working remotely.

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October 20, 2020 4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Courtney Spritzer is the co-founder of , a and marketing agency, and co-host of the podcast Entreprenista with her partner Stephanie Cartin. She spoke with Jessica Abo about how her company adjusted to remote work and the genesis of DigiCards, sets of cue cards for virtual meetings.

When Covid hit, Spritzer and Cartin had to make changes to how they ran their business. 

“We had a lot of learnings and some things that we had to implement right away,” Spritzer says. “We wanted to make sure that we were still having face-to- with all of our employees and our employees were getting that face-to-face time with each other.” 

Months into working remotely, Spritzer and her team found themselves on about ten video meetings a day. She says laying down ground rules from the beginning helped the company transition smoothly.

“We had to share with everyone what it means to work from home and share expectations,” Spritzer says. “Everyone still has to be available. You still have to communicate with each other. You have to over-communicate during this time. And I’m really thankful that our company was set up on Slack because now we really, really leverage Slack for interoffice communications and to quickly stay updated on what’s going on.”

Spritzer and Cartin have put extra time and energy into helping their employees feel connected. “We meet once a month as a team,” Spritzer says. “We do a virtual lunch and send everyone a gift card. Everyone orders lunch in advance, and we get together and play games and catch up and try to bond during that time.”

Spritzer says they also remind their team to take breaks. “You don’t really have that balance anymore of getting out of bed, getting out of your apartment or house and going into an office. Now it’s all blended and we have hours back in our day, and a lot of people are filling those hours with more work.”

After experiencing Zoom fatigue, the co-founders decided to create a product to make video meetings less painful.

“I remember that back in May I called my business partner Stephanie and said, ‘This has to be better and it can be better. What can we do to make this better?’ And I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had very colorful cards that we could use to communicate over video?’ Because a lot of times there are technical glitches and sound issues, so the best way to communicate is just holding a sign, essentially.”

Spritzer and Cartin created a set of 20 colorful cards that focus on different aspects of a video meeting to help people know they are on mute or to let everyone know when someone has an idea they want to share. “We made the product for ourselves,” Spritzer says. “It worked so well that we decided to roll it out as a business solution for other businesses. And we also saw that it could be used for remote . So now the product is also available to teachers and students.”

They are also making customized packages for brands. “Something that I realized in my business, and also in talking to other business owners, is that the of a lot of businesses is really suffering during this time, since there’s no longer an office for a lot of businesses to go to and build that camaraderie,” Spritzer says. “So we can custom-make cards for businesses. And now businesses are hiring us to redesign the DigiCards to put their on front, send this out as gifts to their remote workers to keep them more engaged and then also customize the individual card so that it ties back to their values and their unique business culture. Right now we are offering ten percent off to help entrepreneurs and educators with the code Entrepreneur10.”

Spritzer says that if you have an idea you feel passionate about, go for it. “Do your research, the idea, see if it already exists, see if this is something that people want,” Spritzer says. “Ask your network, ask your friends if this is a product that they would buy. Collect as much feedback as possible and then based on that, decide if it’s worth your time to push the idea forward.”

Related: How Small Business Owners Can Bounce Back from the Pandemic

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The Problems With Passive Income for Entrepreneurs

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October 20, 2020 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Passive income” is a phrase uttered by most modern entrepreneurs, as they seek to achieve the greatest amount of profit for the least amount of effort. It’s such a popular concept that it’s become a veritable buzzword, losing meaning each time it’s included in the title of an article or the foundation of a business plan.

And don’t get me wrong; passive income can be a path to building meaningful wealth. However, there are some serious problems with passive income, both in theory and in practice, that you’ll need to reconcile before moving forward with any plan.

Passive income in a nutshell

Passive income is any kind of income that you generate without the need for ongoing work. If you get paid a in exchange for full-time work, this is active, not passive. If you get paid hourly, you’re earning money in return for your efforts, so it’s active, not passive. Passive income hypothetically requires no time expenditure to make money. For example, if you invest in a dividend-paying stock, you’ll often earn a quarterly dividend based on the number of shares of stock you own. If you own 1,000 shares of a stock that pays $0.30 per share as a dividend, you’ll earn $300 in quarterly income by owning that stock, with no further effort required.

There are dozens, if not hundreds of strategies that purportedly allow you to generate passive income, and all of them have their merits. However, there are several problems with passive income that need to be addressed.

Related: 5 Ways to Generate Passive Income and Keep Your Job

Passive income streams don’t start out passive

First, there are some income streams that require little-to-no effort from you on an ongoing basis, but even these require at least some effort to start. Take our dividend-paying stock as an example: Before you can start generating passive dividend-paying income, you’ll need to carefully research different dividend stocks, do your due diligence and purchase your shares.

The same is true of many other supposedly passive income streams. For example, if you’re hoping to generate rental income from a property, you’ll need to spend time finding the right property, fixing it up and attracting the right tenants. If you want to make money from on a blog, you’ll need to spend time writing content and attracting an initial audience before you can build that momentum.

Many passive income streams still require upkeep

Some income streams fall into the “set it and forget it” category, but the majority of passive income streams still require ongoing upkeep. Within that set, some income streams can be downright disruptive in your life. For example, if you’re making money via advertising on a blog, you’ll need to create new posts on a regular basis and maintain your website. If you rely heavily on organic search traffic and you’re penalized by , you’ll have to quickly adapt your if you want to survive.

The same dilemma applies if you own a rental property. Ideally, you’ll generate income via rent paid by tenants, but what happens if you have a tenant who refuses to pay rent, or one who destroys your property? You’ll need to manage an eviction, which can be both expensive and time consuming. In other words, it compromises both the “passive” and the “income” part of “passive income.”

Capital is a massive gatekeeper

You’ll also find that capital is a massive gatekeeper for many passive income strategies. Anyone can start a blog, more or less for free, and anyone can try to start a business selling stock photography. But if you want to make substantial income with strategies like managing rental property, collecting dividends from stocks or loaning money to peers, you’ll need tens of thousands of dollars in the bank.

If you’ve already got your finances together and you’re making a strong stream of revenue from an active source, this may not be a big deal for you. However, it compromises the accessibility of some otherwise universal strategies.

Related: 17 Passive Income Ideas for Increasing Your Cash Flow

There’s no surefire formula

Even with a good plan and significant business experience, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to make money passively. Most approaches require you to put together a comprehensive strategy and be prepared to fend of competition, economic challenges and other threats. Too many people venture into the world of passive income believing they can follow a step-by-step approach and end up making money with little to no effort. They face a rude awakening when they encounter the first challenge that requires them to pivot their approach.

Passive income sounds fantastic on paper, because it offers entrepreneurs a chance to generate income with a minimal number of hours spent. However, there are many misconceptions surrounding passive income that lead people to overestimate its value and approachability. In many cases, passive income requires substantial upfront effort, initial capital and modest ongoing efforts; even then, there’s no guarantee of success.

Still, if you’re interested in diversifying your revenue streams or if you just want more opportunities to build wealth, passive income development could be right for you. Just be sure you treat it as a business strategy and not a get-rich-quick scheme. Source

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The number of hospitalizations grows and Mexico City could return to a red light

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For now, the job will be to increase the number of tests and isolate positive cases as well as continue to insist on preventive measures.

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October 20, 2020 2 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

  • The availability of beds to care for COVID-19 patients is 58.2%.

Did the regrowth start? Claudia Sheinbaum , head of Government of Mexico City, declared that there was an increase in the number of hospitalized by COVID-19 in the last 10 days in the capital city.

He also commented that there is still time to avoid the application of restrictive measures or the return to the red traffic light and that for the moment he would not call it a regrowth, but a slight change in trend where hospitalizations are growing.

The head of government said that this week would be crucial to know if the traffic light was changed or not. For now, the job will be to increase the number of tests and isolate positive cases as well as continue to insist on preventive measures.

All this before moving to the closure of some economic activities, times or schedules in areas with high contagion danger. According to Sheinbaum, the availability of beds to care for COVID-19 patients is 58.2%, so there is still a great availability of beds, however, he emphasized continuing to comply with health regulations.

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