Netflix will continue to stream hit Polish film 365 Days despite calls for its withdrawal, including by British singer Duffy, who accused it of glamourising rape and sex trafficking.
The Welsh singer-songwriter wrote an open letter to the Netflix chief executive, Reed Hastings, raising her concerns about the film based on a bestselling Polish book trilogy by Blanka Lipi?ska.
In the film, starring Anna-Maria Sieklucka, a woman is imprisoned by a Sicilian mafia boss, who gives her a year to fall in love with him.
“It grieves me that Netflix provides a platform for such ‘cinema’, that eroticises 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.”
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 comment about the criticism surrounding 365 Days, which debuted on the streaming platform in June to strong viewing numbers, but pointed out the film carried high ratings for violence, sex and nudity.
He also pointed out this was a Polish film released theatrically in several countries in February, and that 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.
“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.”
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.
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 30 July.