Netflix just released a trailer for its new teen drama Baby and there is controversy already surrounding the Italian-made series for its depiction of underage sex workers.
The show centers around “a group of Roman teenagers as they defy society in their search for identity and independence,” according to the Netflix description of the show. As a vibey, synth-pop cover of “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” sets the tone, it’s clear that these teens have a lot going on; however, their chosen form of escapism is cause for much debate. Even in their most incendiary moments, neither Gossip Girl nor Skins really touched the topic of sex trafficking and underage sex workers, let alone put it at the forefront of either series.
“Even though everything looks perfect, to survive we need a secret life,” the series protagonist, Baby, narrates. As the trailer progresses, we see more and more of what makes this show so controversial and why the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) asked Netflix to pull the series before its air date because they believe it glamorizes the sex trafficking industry.
The eight-episode series is loosely based off a real-life scandal in 2014 involving two high school students from Rome’s Parioli district who were selling sex so that they could buy designer clothes. Arrests were made, including both girls’ mothers. Netflix’s vice president of international originals, Erik Barmak, spoke with Variety and described Baby as “representative of the new engaging vision of the types of talented producers we love.”
Baby is available to stream on Netflix on November 30, 2018.