Netflix is criticized for saying abuse of minors is a 'terrible crime' following Cheer star Jerry Harris' arrest on child porn charges after defending controversial film Cuties as 'social commentary'

 Netflix has been criticized for saying abuse of minors is a 'terrible crime' in the wake of Jerry Harris' arrest on child porn charges after earlier defending the controversial film Cuties as 'social commentary'. 

Harris, the star of Netflix's Cheer docuseries, was arrested and charged in Chicago on Thursday for child pornography following allegations of inappropriate conduct with a 13-year-old boy when he was 19. 

Following his arrest, a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement that the streaming service was 'shocked by this news'. 

'Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process,' the spokesperson said. 

The statement prompted criticism from some on social media who compared Harris' case to the controversy surrounding Cuties - a French film currently streaming on Netflix that has been accused of sexualizing little girls. 

DailyMail.com has contacted Netflix for comment.  

Jerry Harris, the star of Netflix's Cheer docuseries, was arrested and charged in Chicago on Thursday for child pornography following allegations of inappropriate conduct with a 13-year-old boy when he was 19

Jerry Harris, the star of Netflix's Cheer docuseries, was arrested and charged in Chicago on Thursday for child pornography following allegations of inappropriate conduct with a 13-year-old boy when he was 19

Jerry Harris from 'Cheer' is under FBI investigation
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'So Netflix condemns Jerry Harris (star of the Netflix documentary Cheer) for his alleged abuse of minors but they're still defending f***ing Cuties?' one critic tweeted. 

Another said: 'I find this comment from Netflix talking about the Jerry Harris case funny seeing as Netflix found it ok to release Cuties on their platform.'

'So this Jerry Harris of Netflix's Cheer got arrested for child pornography, but they didn't arrest whoever made the film Cuties or arrest whomever runs Netflix that promotes this?' another tweet read. 

Republican lawmakers last week called for a federal investigation into the production and distribution of Cuties after alleging it promotes pedophilia. 

Netflix has defended the film, saying it is a 'social commentary against the sexualization of young children'. 

Senator Ted Cruz told Attorney General Bill Barr in a letter last week that the film is 'likely' to encourage pedophiles.

'The film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing,' Cruz said.

He said that the Justice Department should determine if the French filmmakers or Netflix 'violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography'.

The statement prompted criticism from some on social media who compared Harris' case to the controversy surrounding Cuties - a French film currently streaming on Netflix that has been accused of sexualizing little girls

The statement prompted criticism from some on social media who compared Harris' case to the controversy surrounding Cuties - a French film currently streaming on Netflix that has been accused of sexualizing little girls

The film, called 'Mignonnes' in French, portrays a young, rebellious French Senegalese girl who joins a pre-teen hip-hop dance group that is pushed into performing suggestive dances.

It shows the young girls dressing in risqué outfits while twerking.

The film earned director Maimouna Doucoure an award at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. 

In an op-ed in the Washington Post on Wednesday, Doucoure rejected the charges of abusing girls, and said her film was about the objectification of women and children, and the pressure pre-teen girls feel to be pretty and sexy.

'This film is my own story,' the Senagalese-French filmmaker wrote, which she said she made 'to start a debate about the sexualization of children in society today'.

The initial campaign against Cuties called for conservatives to close their Netflix accounts and used the hashtag #CancelNetflix on Twitter.

Some used that same hashtag when tweeting about the arrest of the 21-year-old celebrity cheerleader on Thursday. 

Harris' arrest came just days after 14-year-old cheerleading twin brothers in Texas filed a lawsuit alleging he solicited sexually explicit photos from them for a year and asked one of them for oral sex. 

The production of child pornography charge is related to allegations of inappropriate conduct with the twin he tried to solicit oral sex from.  

Prosecutors say Harris admitted in an interview with FBI agents this week that he had asked the boy, who was then 13, to send him photographs and videos of his penis and buttocks on Snapchat.    

In one Snapchat exchange included in the complaint, the boy sent a photo of himself and Harris allegedly responded: 'Do it naked and take a video'
In one Snapchat exchange included in the complaint, the boy sent a photo of himself and Harris allegedly responded: 'Do it naked and take a video'

The criminal complaint related to his arrest includes several photos and message exchanges allegedly between Harris and the boy. In one Snapchat exchange included in the complaint, the boy sent a photo of himself and Harris allegedly responded: 'Do it naked and take a video'

The complaint says that Harris sent this photo to one of the boys on Snapchat asking: 'Would you ever want to ***'. The boy told authorities he interpreted this as Harris asking him to engage in sex acts

The complaint says that Harris sent this photo to one of the boys on Snapchat asking: 'Would you ever want to ***'. The boy told authorities he interpreted this as Harris asking him to engage in sex acts 

Harris also allegedly admitted to soliciting explicit photos from dozens of other underage boys and engaging in a sex act with a 15-year-old at a cheer comp.

The 28-page criminal complaint related to his arrest, which came just days after the FBI raided his home in Naperville, Illinois, contains a number of screenshots of Harris' exchanges with both twins.  

The boys, Charlie and Sam, are not identified in the criminal complaint but they gave an interview to USA Today this week speaking about the allegations after filing the lawsuit. 


The FBI started investigating after the allegations were reported to authorities by Varsity, which is the global authority of competitive cheerleading. 

In the criminal complaint, Harris is accused of contacting both boys on social media as early as 2018 and soliciting explicit images from both of them. 

One of the boys, identified as Minor 2, told authorities that he always refused to send Harris any explicit images. 

The other boy, identified as Minor 1, said he sent more than a dozen sexually explicit photos and videos to Harris, at his request, on Snapchat between December 2018 and March 2020. 

The allegations stem from complaints made by 14-year-old twin boys in Texas who are also competitive cheerleaders. The boys, Charlie and Sam, are not identified in the criminal complaint but they gave an interview to USA Today this week speaking about the allegations

The allegations stem from complaints made by 14-year-old twin boys in Texas who are also competitive cheerleaders. The boys, Charlie and Sam, are not identified in the criminal complaint but they gave an interview to USA Today this week speaking about the allegations

The complaint says Harris first contacted the boy on Instagram in 2018 who told him he was only 13. Harris allegedly responded: 'Oh ok have any pics?', before adding the photos should be of his face and 'booty'

The complaint says Harris first contacted the boy on Instagram in 2018 who told him he was only 13. Harris allegedly responded: 'Oh ok have any pics?', before adding the photos should be of his face and 'booty'

Pictured above is a screenshot included in the complaint of several nude photos that he allegedly sent to Harris. Harris' face can be seen in one of the images
Harris allegedly sent the boy a text message saying he had 'found a place for us to do stuff' at another cheer competition. The boy told authorities that he understood that to mean Harris wanted to engage in sex acts with him

Pictured above on the left is a screenshot included in the complaint of several nude photos that he allegedly sent to Harris. Harris' face can be seen in one of the images. Pictured right is a text Harris allegedly sent the boy saying he had 'found a place for us to do stuff' at a cheer competition

Harris, who was 19 at the time, is also accused of sending the boy explicit images of himself and footage of him masturbating. 

The boy claims Harris also once asked him for oral sex in bathroom when they both attended a cheer competition in February 2019.  

Three months later, Harris allegedly sent the boy a text message saying he had 'found a place for us to do stuff' at another cheer competition. The boy told authorities that he understood that to mean Harris wanted to engage in sex acts with him. 

The boy denied Harris' requests for sex acts on both occasions, according to the complaint.  

Harris was the breakout star of the show that followed the cheerleading team from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, as it sought a national title.

Cheer was an instant success when it was released in January and Harris drew fans for his upbeat attitude and his encouraging 'mat talk'. 

Earlier this year, he interviewed celebrities on the red carpet at the Academy Awards for The Ellen DeGeneres Show. 

Harris has been the subject of an FBI investigation following allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct with a minor. His arrest comes just three days after the FBI raided his home in Naperville, Illinois

Harris has been the subject of an FBI investigation following allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct with a minor. His arrest comes just three days after the FBI raided his home in Naperville, Illinois 

Netflix is criticized for saying abuse of minors is a 'terrible crime' following Cheer star Jerry Harris' arrest on child porn charges after defending controversial film Cuties as 'social commentary' Netflix is criticized for saying abuse of minors is a 'terrible crime' following Cheer star Jerry Harris' arrest on child porn charges after defending controversial film Cuties as 'social commentary' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 03:49 Rating: 5

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