Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Was Not Arrested on Child Porn Charges

Reed Hastings Arrest

Getty Reed Hastings pictured during an appearance in January 2020.

Reed Hastings was not arrested on September 12 on child porn charges. A fake news article from a site called Toronto Today has spread on social media alleging that Hastings, 59, was arrested in Los Gatos, California.

The fake article said that Hastings was arrested at his home in Los Gatos after investigators allegedly found 13,000 files of child pornography. The article said that Hastings was facing 11 charges in relation to the find. According to an article that has since been removed from Toronto Today, Hastings is considered to be a “computer genius.” The article claimed Toronto Today had reached out to Hastings and his lawyers for comment but that they had not responded. Heavy has reached out to Netflix for comment on the story.

The piece accuses Hastings of being in possession of files that included a “compilation video of prepubescent girls under 8, some as young as toddlers, being raped.” The article ends with allegations that a “clandestine drug lab” was found in Hastings’ basement. The details of Hastings alleged arrest, are identical to the actual arrest of Utah businessman Douglas Saltsman in May 2019.

Hastings is an internationally renowned tech CEO. If he was arrested on such serious charges, it would be widely reported by local, national and international news outlets. There has been no statement from the FBI on any child pornography arrests on September 12.

Toronto Today ‘Tells You What Biased, Corporate Media Won’t’

The rise of 'fake news', manipulation and 'alternative facts' – BBC NewsnightHow do we discern what is true and what is ‘fake news’ in the fast-paced age of social media and technology? Our technology editor David Grossman reports. Newsnight is the BBC's flagship news and current affairs TV programme – with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews. Website: YouTube: Twitter: Facebook: Snapchat:…2017-02-06T12:18:39Z

Toronto Today is described on its homepage as a website that “tells you what biased, corporate media won’t.” The description goes on to say, “Working class, Indigenous, and African-Canadian people are underserved by the media. Let’s change that. Those in positions of authority and those that work in the mainstream media need to stop lying. Until then, you have Toronto Today.”

The website was founded and is run by Toronto-based Mark Slapinski. Heavy has reached out to Slapinski for comment.

The Fake Story Emerged at the Same Time Netflix Has Been Accused of Promoting Child Pornography With the Release of the Movie Cuties

Cuties | Official Trailer | NetflixEleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew. SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages.…2020-08-18T14:00:00Z

On the day the fake story spread, Hastings was active on his Twitter account. Hastings promoted a story from The Verge on the release of the movie Cuties.

Deadline reported on September 12 that Senator Ted Cruz had joined calls for the Department of Justice to investigate “investigate whether Netflix, its executives or the filmmakers violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography.” The allegation of child pornography is related to the fictional French movie, Cuties.

Why I Made Cuties | Maïmouna Doucouré Interview | NetflixWriter-director Maïmouna Doucouré on her film CUTIES and how it draws from her own experience growing up between two cultures. Subscribe: Find Netflix Film Club on: ➡️INSTAGRAM: ➡️TWITTER: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and…2020-09-09T07:00:00Z

Cuties is a critically acclaimed French coming-of-age drama. Deadline describes the film as taking “aim at society’s sexualization of girls, through an ensemble of 11-year-old girls.” Earlier in September 2020, Cuties director Maimouna Doucoure told Deadline that she received death threats following the release of the film.

The Daily Dot’s Michelle Jaworski wrote on September 11 the outrage over Cuties was in part fuelled by the spreading of out-of-context clips on social media. In a statement to Variety on the controversy, a Netflix spokesperson said, “Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. It’s an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up – and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: Marriage counseling showed me I was a 'systematic liar'Netflix Co-CEO Reed Hastings says marriage counseling not only helped him in his marriage, it also benefited his professional life as well. #CNN #News2020-09-10T17:25:06Z

At the same time that the outrage over Cuties, Hastings appeared on CNN to promote his new book No Rules, Rules. On the same day, The Guardian reported that the hashtag “CancelNetflix” was tweeted over 200,000 times.

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