Duffy writes letter to Netflix to remove ‘365 Days’
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In an open letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, the 36-year-old Welsh singer – who has been outspoken about her own personal experiences of allegedly being drugged, raped and held captive – urged the head of the streaming giant to consider pulling the Polish film “365 Days” from the platform and called Netflix’s decision to stream the film “irresponsible.”
In the memorandum obtained by Deadline, Duffy writes that it “grieves [her] that Netflix provides a platform for such ‘cinema,’ that eroticises kidnapping and distorts sexual violence and trafficking as a ‘sexy’ movie.”
“I just can’t imagine how Netflix could overlook how careless, insensitive, and dangerous this is,” Duffy continued. “It has even prompted some young women, recently, to jovially ask Michele Morrone, the lead actor in the film, to kidnap them.”
The film plot sees a “fiery executive,” played by Anna-Maria Sieklucka, abducted and imprisoned by a mafia boss, played by Michele Morrone – with the caveat being that Sieklucka’s character, who is stuck in a lifeless relationship, has one year to fall in love with her kidnapper.
Duffy performs during Francofolies New York: A Tribute To Edith Piaf at Beacon Theatre on September 19, 2013, in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
"We all know Netflix would not host material glamorizing pedophilia, racism, homophobia, genocide, or any other crimes against humanity," Duffy continued in her letter. "The world would rightly rise up and scream. 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."
She added: "And so, I am compelled to speak on their behalf, and to ask you to right this wrong; to commit the resources of Netflix, and the skills of its talented film-makers, to producing and broadcasting content that portrays the truth of the harsh and desperate reality of what ‘365 Days’ has sought to turn into a work of casual entertainment."
Duffy went on to say that: "When I was trafficked and raped, I was lucky to come away with my life, but far too many have not been so lucky. And now I have to witness these tragedies, and my tragedy, eroticised and demeaned. Where can one turn? But to have to address you in writing."
Duffy also addressed people who might say "it is just a movie," simply stating that "it is not ‘just’, when it has great influence to distort a subject which is widely undiscussed, such as sex trafficking and kidnapping, by making the subject erotic."
"And because ‘365 Days’ has proved enormously popular, I also address this letter to viewers directly," she noted in the letter via Deadline. "I encourage the millions who have enjoyed the movie to reflect on the reality of kidnapping and trafficking, of force and sexual exploitation, and of an experience that is the polar opposite of the glossy fantasy depicted in ‘365 Days’."
She further encouraged people who have watched the movie to learn more about human trafficking by visiting the United Nations' Office on Drugs and Crime website, ahead of World Day against Trafficking in Persons on July 30. She also shared a handful of organizations including, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Hope for Justice, Polaris Project, Anti-Slavery, Stop the Traffick, Unseen U.K., Not for Sale Campaign, International Justice Mission, A21 and Made for Them.
"If all of you at Netflix take nothing from this open letter but these final words, I will be content. You have not realized how ‘365 Days’ has brought great hurt to those who have endured the pains and horrors that this film glamorizes, for entertainment and for dollars. What I and others who know these injustices need is the exact opposite – a narrative of truth, hope, and to be given a voice," she concluded.
Fans are crying foul that '365 Days' romanticizes kidnapping and rape. (Netflix)
The movie – which currently sits as the No. 5 title in the UK top 10 today – is based on author Blanka Lipińska's novel, and once the film was made available to U.S. viewers, many took to social media to voice their opinions about the sultry flick, pointing to the idea that it “romanticizes” Stockholm syndrome.
“365 Days” grossed some $9 million at the Polish box office and had a limited run in the UK. According to Deadline, a sequel is said to be planned, however, it is currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.