Director Diego Kaplan refutes child pornography accusations in Netflix film ‘Desire’

Director Diego Kaplan has defended his Netflix film ‘Desire’ amid accusations of child pornography.

Conservative commentator Megan Fox has claimed that a scene in the film includes child porn. In the much-debated scene, a young girl is seen to be unknowingly masturbating for the first time. The girl, who is imitating the horse riding scene in a John Wayne cowboy film, then experiences an orgasm.

Issuing a strong defence of the scene, Kaplan said that neither girls involved in the film were aware of what they were depicting and that all recording of the scene was done “under the careful surveillance of the girls’ mothers”.

Critic Fox claims to have reported Netflix to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, she said: “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.”

Here is Kaplan’s full response which was submitted to Indiewire: 

“Despair 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.”

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