Is anyone here actually surprised about that? We shouldn't be, considering the type of bandwagon that the Republican Texas senator wants to jump on to accomplish the following things:
1. Go for some easy public brownie points with a form of virtue signalling that will receive across-the-board bipartisan support due to all political rivals fearing to do otherwise, or even indicate they may think otherwise (will a few Libertarians in Congress be exceptions? Let us wait and see!).
2. To once again make it clear that the powers that be in society are willing to throw democracy to the wind and criminalize certain forms of thought and put state power behind enforcing certain sacrosanct paradigms like those proclaiming an inherent "innocence" and asexuality of young girls.
3. Keeping the moral panic going strong, so that more repressive laws can be justified with little opposition as long as the "save the children!" rationalization is invoked.
Of course, usually rational and civil libertarian YouTubers and media columnists are all singing the praise over this, not caring about the implications on freedom in general, not realizing how uncomfortably close to "cancel culture" even strong opponents of the SJW mindset are coming with this, and not overly concerned to the lengths they are going to wipe out imagery and ideas they find particularly offensive, which certain groups of adults they hate may watch and enjoy for the "wrong" reasons (even if they keep it completely to themselves).
I mean, what kind of society do we want here? Certainly not one that "sexualizes children", which is code for censoring the depiction and acknowledgement of youth sexual expression. So, we have to censor the images at any cost, including the punishment and shaming of anyone who might dare find girls attractive "in that way."
Just imagine the further controls and surveillance powers on what we view and the legal sanction to investigate people for their suspected viewing habits, and criminalizing the boat loads of people who likely already have this film downloaded to their computers, tablets, or simply "checked" on their Netflix view lists. It will be the Traci Lords thing all over again! We need to purge all physical and digital copies of this video from everywhere, I guess?
But considering the type of imagery and the ideas they are suppressing, not to mention the further damage to democracy this will cause, who cares, right? As long as it's for this reason, we simply cannot fault it. Anything to slam those disgusting "pedophiles", to deprive them of any possible eye candy, and to show those horrible filmmakers what happens to those who transgress against our society's most sacrosanct paradigm. Killing kids is acceptable in movies, books, and video games, but God knows depicting them in a way that might be found "sexy" sure as hell isn't, no matter how much it reflects actual reality, including the reality and pervasiveness of twerk dancing among the tween and young teen girl community.
And if all goes well, we can count on YouTube and Instagram placing new and outright draconian restrictions on both younger people uploading their own content and on the viewing choices of adults! As for TikTok, man, that is as good as gone, as it must be run and controlled by evil "pedophiles"--or, at the very least, viewed by many of them, and that is just not acceptable. Adults who save certain videos on Instagram and TikTok must be investigated and punished to the fullest! Or, at least do the "sensible" thing YouTube did and deny the ability of anyone to "save" videos intended for or depicting kids anymore.
The bipartisan support from all across the Internet will be massive, as who doesn't want to acquire some of that valuable moral capital? Not to mention help destroy the lives of anyone who may view these videos or movies like Cuties with even the slightest hint of pleasure instead of disgust. I mean, who could possibly resit getting their share of this non-pecuniary but extremely valuable type of capital?
What will be most hilarious are people on the Right and the SJWs (or even civil libertarian Left) blaming each others' ideologies for "allowing" such content to be created. What is already hilarious is the legal experts with channels on YouTube analyzing the validity of Cruz's lawsuit and struggling to provide even a modicum of professional objectivity while simultaneously assuring all viewers that they will not be able to watch anything as disgusting as this film, so they have to rely on third party info about the movie's content. One such legal expert on YouTube strongly advised everyone not to watch Cuties this weekend just in case. Wow, this is happening in America too, keep in mind! Not that we are actually shocked that it's happening here; only that we wish we could be shocked, as we actually would be if we lived in a world where this nation actually adhered to its stated ideals and eschewed moral panics as a result.
So, what might be my opinion on whether this lawsuit will bear any success for Cruz?
This is what the good senator has in his favor: mass bipartisan sentiment, with most who do not share that sentiment obviously too scared to say so out of fear of being de-platormed, losing a job, having a political career ruined, or being investigated. He has a lot of virtue capital to acquire, and he wants to be able to say that the Republicans rose to the cause first. That won't last, of course, since most Democrats will soon be falling all over themselves to steal the thunder and earn their share of that glorious virtue currency.
This is what he has against him: he is taking on a powerful business enterprise, and he is going to panic serious civil libertarians for good reason. Many of them may ultimately be spurred into actually speaking out on this, in greater numbers than Cruz is anticipating. Of course, that is a big "if" that the senator is happy to take a risk over.
The people of America will be torn on the issue. Many of the most vocal will praise Cruz, and then praise their respective political parties and media pundits for jumping on the bandwagon. Much of the youth liberation movement will feel strongly tempted to disavow their neutrality on the topic for what they will argue is pragmatism, not to mention their own personal disgust with the idea of this one specific freedom enjoyed by youths and their loathing of adults who might dare to find them attractive. There is plenty of moral capital to go around and brownie point awards to be won by any regular person or activist with a YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter account (especially that!) screaming expletives at "pedophiles" and denouncing Netflix for streaming such a film.
On the other hand, many people will be secretly terrified of the implications at this attempt to control their viewing habits. This fear will be far from limited to people in the MAP community, or youth community who genuinely want the right to express themselves in this manner (then again, the latter are not allowed to vote, so...). This is especially true when the people come to realize how absolutely anyone can accidentally run afoul of these laws, since if Cruz is successful, various states in the USA are going to be turning up surveillance on people's viewing habits like never before.
Also, one can count on companies like Netflix and those who produce art for both profit and free expression becoming increasingly angered by these limits placed on their right to discuss any topic they want to discuss. This bunch can actually influence lobbyists with the green. And they will know Cruz and the pundits to follow on his bandwagon will be lying when they publicly scream, "It's not about the money! It's about the kids, dammit!" They already know if this was actually true, these politicians would be pushing lawsuits on the vast war profiteering and imperialist policies of the government, not those who produce creative art. Cruz is going for what he believes to be an easy target, one that has the awesome fringe benefit of allowing him to gain further control over freedom of speech and expression.
How successful the senator is will be entirely dependent on two major factors: how strong a fight Netflix and its fellow streaming services choose to put up, and how many serious civil libertarians are moved to overcome their fear and speak out.
My prediction? Cruz is going to ultimately make a fool out of himself, since he is attacking a target that has the actual resources to fight back. The numerous voices praising his actions on all sides of the political divide are not currently considering what further restrictions will be placed on their own content if Cruz was victorious in this, and those who normally fight censorship are going to look like big hypocrites in the end. Their collective shouts of the trope "If opposing this makes me a puritan, then I'm glad to call myself a puritan!" can easily come back to bite their arses in ways they could readily anticipate if they weren't being controlled by their outrage.
Let's see how this plays out. The end result is going to be very interesting and telling no matter the outcome.