Diego Kaplan, the director of Netflix’s erotic thriller Desire, has released a statement defending his film from accusations of child pornography following complaints from a conservative commentator and others online.
The controversial scene under debate sees a young girl watching a John Ford cowboy film with a friend at a sleepover and imitating the horse riding using a pillow, unknowingly masturbating and thus experiencing her first orgasm. Kaplan has vehemently refuted the claims of child pornography, and assured that the scene had been filmed “under the careful surveillance of the girl’s mothers”, and that neither of the young female actresses knew what they were depicting.
The scene went viral after Conservative commentator Megan Fox (not that one) published a blog post condemning the film: “Netflix is in violation of distributing child pornography because the child in question is very clearly engaging in the sexual act of masturbation,” she wrote, “and this exceeds the minimum requirement of merely being suggestive”. She has, according to the blog post, reported Netflix to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the US.
Read Kaplan’s full response below:
Desire is a film. When we see a shark eating a woman on film, no one thinks the woman really died or that the shark was real. We work in a world of fiction; and, for me, before being a director comes being a father.
Of course this scene was filmed using a trick, which was that the girls were copying a cowboy scene from a film by John Ford. The girls never understood what they were doing, they were just copying what they were seeing on the screen. No adult interacted with the girls, other than the child acting coach. Everything was done under the careful surveillance of the girls’ mothers. Because I knew this scene might cause some controversy at some point, there is “Making Of” footage of the filming of the entire scene.
Everything works inside the spectators’ heads, and how you think this scene was filmed will depend on your level of depravity.