Monday, October 21, 2019

Netflix's BABY (2018): Schoolgirl Teen Prostitutes in Rome


We were doing some research on the second season of Big Mouth (2019) when Netflix suggested the second season of Baby (2019). We were charmed by thumbnail, intrigued by the plot summary, and entertained by the trailer. And Emily Tannenbaum's Cosmopolitaarticle "The True Story Behind Netflix's 'Baby' Is Even More Disturbing Than the Show" was absorbing. 

Here's Netflix's plot summary: At an exclusive private high school, student athlete Chiara forges an unlikely bond with rebellious classmate Ludovica and mysterious new boy Damiano. 

And here's the season 1 trailer:


But it wasn't until we read Tannenbaum's article that we realized that the "unlikely bond" between Chiara and Ludovica is teen prostitution and that the Rome set teen show is based on a true story - the 'Baby Squillo' (i.e., baby prostitute) scandal. 

Tannenbaum shared:

[...] Baby is a grime-stained window into the lives of various students who attend an exclusive Roman high school. Mostly, the series focuses on Chiara (Benedetta Porcaroli) and Ludovica (Alice Pagani), who turn to high-end prostitution to make money.

THE TRUE STORY: Back in 2014, it was discovered [...] that two high school girls in the wealthy district of Parioli, Rome were selling their bodies [like (some) Japanese schoolgirlsfor sex in order to buy luxury products like designer clothes and electronics [...] [A] dozen more girls were involved in the underage prostitution ring, but it "centers on a 14-year-old [Agnese] and a 16-year-old [Angela] who told investigating prosecutor Cristina Macchiusi that they got into the game by searching 'easy money' on Google."

A number of men, including a descendant of Mussolini, were arrested for not being able to resist the allure of nymphet prostitutes, but (unsurprisingly) none of the teen prostitutes were arrested.

And just like Demi Moore's mother, Agnese's mother encouraged men to exchange sex for money with her nymphet daughter. 

Lastly, Tannenbaum wrote that "[...] Baby has been the subject of massive pushback from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation for "glamorizing" the true story of the 'Baby Squillo' scandal [...]" In response to the pushback, Netflix Vice President of International Originals Kelly Luegenbiehl said, “The first thing that we are always looking for is authenticity, and this show has that." 

Updates forthcoming...

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