Tiny Pretty Pervs

There are too many Horatio Algers in Hollywood these days who are claiming some standard of morality while creating content that is garbage.
Image courtesy of Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

In the train-wreck-dumpster-fire that is the ethics department at Netflix, someone thought it was a good idea to show teenagers nekkid on a TV series marketed to teenagers. It's called Tiny Pretty Things. On one hand it's not altogether surprising. I can tell you as a former used book store owner that I wouldn't put a Young Adult (YA) title out on the shelf until one of my adult kids had a chance to read it. After all, we were shooting for a classy, sophisticated look at the store and didn't want to have to go to brown paper bags and install red lights. If you're not familiar with the YA genre: take my word it has some real reprobates writing for it.

The guy at Netflix who has developed the process for content selection is Ted Sarandos, their former Chief Content Officer and now co-Chief Executive Officer. His story is a typical Horatio Alger-esque story that everyone loves to tell in the start-up world. Horatio Alger, the Unitarian minister who wrote pot-boiler rags to riches stories featuring poor teenage newspaper boys, shoe shine boys, orphans and dirt farmers that became a huge part of American culture, was also ejected from his church because of his penchant for teenage boys. In other words, he was a hypocrite and a perv. That'll get you fired from even a Unitarian church!

I don't have any evidence or even want to imply at this point that Sarandos has followed Alger in his personal proclivities. However, there are too many Horatio Algers in Hollywood these days who are claiming some standard of morality while creating content that is garbage. Like Alger, some of them have already been exposed as hypocrites. Unlike Alger, they do not have the good sense to write or distribute stories that at least appear to be moral on the surface.  

The penchant the cancel culture has for throwing the Harvey Weinsteins of this world under the bus — for doing in real life what their films depict on the big screen — is astounding in its duplicity. This culture proves that Christians by no means have the market cornered on hypocrisy. By what standard are they canceling celebrities? What source of absolute truth makes it wrong to use a casting couch to advance your career or your own lusts? Who says it is wrong to beat your wife, or your husband, or your girlfriend? Or lie to them in order to get what you want? Reading the Hollywood news these days is a lot like reading a church discipline report for a denomination that actually still does church discipline (speaking of fiction) over infractions of the moral law of God. When did the cultural elites in this nation become the morality hit-team?  

Sarandos presumably greenlit stories like Tiny Pretty Things and the now infamous Cuties because the data shows that this is what the culture wants. He's a data guy. But as the aforementioned article shows, even the audience is complaining about all of the nudity in Tiny Pretty Things.

When it's somehow newsworthy that Natalie Portman didn't want to be sexualized as a twelve year old (what twelve year old WANTS to be sexualized on film? Is Netflix on a mission to find out?), perhaps there's a lesson to be learned about what's wrong with Hollywood. Or at least Netflix.  

It's time for something else. It's time for a Christian-owned company that operates from a Christian worldview that writes stories that reflect that worldview. You don't have to write a sermon into a film to make it Christian. These days, all you have to do is avoid soft core porn themes and burn the casting couch.  Help us burn couches and write stories.