Netflix’s Baby accused of glamorising sex trafficking
VOD News | On 13, Jan 2018
Netflix has been accused of glamorising sex trafficking with its new Italian series, Baby.
The programme was announced last year by the streaming giant, as a coming-of-age show that “explores the unseen lives of Roman high schoolers”.
Loosely inspired by a true story, the ‘baby squillo’ scandal, the series follows a group of Parioli teenagers as they “defy society in their search for identity and independence against the backdrop of forbidden love, family pressures, and shared secrets”. The scandal in question involved teenage students said to be selling sex to buy designer clothes and phones.
However, USA’s National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) has written to the streaming giant calling for the eight-episode project to be cancelled, warning that it normalises child abuse.
“Netflix recently fired Kevin Spacey … To turn around and produce a show that glorifies the sex trafficking of minors and dub it ‘edgy entertainment’ is the height of hypocrisy …” said Lisa Thompson, Vice President of NCOSE.
“There are no ‘baby prostitutes’ – only sexually abused, exploited and raped children,” added the letter.
“If Netflix executives care more about ending sexual exploitation in this #MeToo moment than about profiting from sexually exploitive themes, they will cancel production of this show immediately.”
The letter was signed by 56 campaigners, including social service providers as well as survivors.
Baby: Netflix returns to Rome for third Italian original series
16th November 2017
Netflix is returning to Rome for its third original Italian series.
Following the global launch of Suburra, the series, and after the announcement of its Juventus FC docu-series, Netflix has commissioned a new coming-of-age show, called Baby.
The series explores the unseen lives of Roman high schoolers. Loosely inspired by a true story, the ‘baby squillo’ scandal, the series follows a group of Parioli teenagers as they defy society in their search for identity and independence against the backdrop of forbidden love, family pressures, and shared secrets.
The 8-episode drama delves into the wide-ranging experiences of Italian teens through the bold storytelling of the new writing collective, GRAMS, made up of five young writers, Antonio Le Fosse, Eleonora Trucchi, Marco Raspanti, Giacomo Mazzariol and Re Salvador. Writers Isabella Aguilar and Giacomo Durzi will join them.
Erik Barmack, VP of International Originals at Netflix, comments: “We are proud to continue to invest in original content in Italy, and Baby is representative of the new, edgy programming from talented producers that we cherish. We couldn’t be more excited to start work on this show.”
Nicola De Angelis, EP for the show’s producer, Fabul pictures, adds: “We are very excited to work with Netflix in bringing new voices and stories from Italy to a global audience. The great creative freedom Netflix grants us is the perfect home to break new ground in storytelling for Italian television.
Production will begin on Baby next year.