Director Diego Kaplan has released a statement defending his erotic thriller film “Desire” after a conservative commentator and others online accused it of containing child pornography.
The scene in question involves a young girl unknowingly masturbating for the first time and experiencing an orgasm after watching a John Ford cowboy film with a friend and imitating the horse riding using a pillow.
Kaplan disputed the child pornography categorization and told Indiewire that the filming of the scenes was done “under the careful surveillance of the girls’ mothers” and neither of the girls were aware of what they were depicting.
Conservative commentator Megan Fox had written a blog post on PJ Media saying she had reported Netflix to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “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.”
Read Kaplan’s statement in full below.
“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.
“Desire” was released last year in Argentina under its original title, “Desearas: Al Hombre De Tu Hermana.” Netflix began distributing the film in December 2017.