Remove the film "365 DNI" from Netflix as it perpetuates the glamorization of rape culture

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As a result of COVID19, I, like many others, have spent a lot of time scouring Netflix for movies and TV shows in hopes of filling the void with aimless entertainment, thought provoking documentaries, and everything in between. It can be assumed with over 183 million subscribers, Netflix has become a primary source of education and entertainment for people around the world. With the draw of so many consumers and with the abundance of free time, I have immense concerns regarding the glamorization of predatory behavior and rape culture forseen in the newly released film, 365 DNI.  In the film description, the main female character is described as the ‘victim’ and ‘prisoner’ of a ‘dominant mafia boss’ who gives her one year to fall in love with him. After less than thirty minutes, I opted to turn the movie off as I figured it would be a better use of my time to write this plea for change.


The questionable nature of the film becomes evident within the first fifteen minutes when the main character forces a sexual act upon his private jet employee. She appears afraid and reluctant to engage with him as he traps her in the back of the plane. By the end of their sexual encounter, she has tears streaming down her face. The film only continues to be more triggering and problematic from here.

As the story evolves, the events turn from questionable to horrifying when the main female character is kidnapped and held against her will. When she awakes, she is greeted by the protagonist who not only violently throws her into a chair, tries to force feed her alcohol, but then deems her as his prisoner for a minimum of a year's time or until she falls in love with him. She continues to cry, scream, and yell demanding to be released; to which he responds by throwing her again, getting on top of her, grabbing her breast and following it up with “I won’t do anything unless you say it’s okay.” I reiterate, this is said while he is actively groping and violating her. 

I truly couldn’t believe what I was watching. It was at this point I had to turn off the film not only because it was extremely triggering but I wanted to fact check and ensure it was released in 2020; after the 1970’s Anti-Rape movement and more recent #MeToo movement.  Having been released during a time when the fight for gender equality and sexual justice has been on the forefront of conversation, it is absolutely mortifying that Netflix would endorse such a film. There is nothing consensual about this relationship. This film aims to glamorize predatory and violent behavior, providing an example that if you simply ignore a woman’s pleas for help, toss her around like a doll, and undermine the importance of consent - you can do whatever you please. 


Less than one week prior to 365 DNI being released, the Jeffrey Epstein docuseries Filthy Rich was released. In the Filthy Rich series, psychologists are interviewed to provide professional insight regarding the assault cases. In summary, it was stated that in a power dynamic (whether it be age, wealth, physical size, etc.) sexual acts performed by men in power to vulnerable women, are considered sexually abusive. In the film 365 DNI, both female characters [previously mentioned] are considered to be vulnerable. The first on the basis of employer/employee relationship and the second (the main female character) on the basis of being held against her will.

 I am absolutely baffled that in the same week, Netflix could release one documentary about the horrors of sexual abuse in the Jeffrey Epstein case and another film that glamorizes rape culture and non-consensual relationships in the film 365 DNI. 

 

In 2006, the #MeToo movement began with hopes of providing a voice and awareness for survivors of sexual traumas. Heroes such as Christine Blasey Ford came into public eye in 2018 when testifying against Brett Kavanaugh, survivors spoke their truth in the Jeffrey Epstein trials, nearly twenty women spoke up and against Harvey Weinstein, athletes spoke up about the abuse inflicted by Larry Nassar and celebrities spoke out against peers in their industry. Then there are women like me; women who have lost in an uphill battle trying to prosecute their abuser. More often than not, perpetrators of assault walk freely because the narrative that has been upheld for so many years, continues to protect them. 

In 2015, Brock Turner was found to have raped an unconscious woman behind the dumpsters on his college campus. Nearly a year later, he was convicted guilty on three felony charges of sexual assault but was released after only having served three months in jail due to “good behavior.” This is just one example that further reiterates sexual crimes are often dismissed. Continuing to feed into this narrative by glamorizing the skewed power dynamic between a wealthy, powerful man and his captor further perpetuates these issues and insinuates this kind of behavior is okay and even desirable.

It is my hope and expectation that this film be removed from the Netflix platform on the basis of concern for the audience in which it will reach. Concern for trauma survivors seeing this as a potential trigger, the suggestibility that insinuates this kind of behavior is okay, and on the basis of internalized influence. We cannot continue to perpetuate the glamorization of non-consensual relationships, rape, and predatory actions in the media, as this furthers the narrative and undermines the hard work so many of us have worked towards.