Here's why Netflix's erotic drama '365 Days' is facing backlash

The drama has sparked controversy and condemnation since it hit the streaming service last month.
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/ Source: TODAY
By Ree Hines

The erotic drama “365 Days” has proven both popular and problematic for Netflix.

Audiences eager for extra entertainment options in the stay-at-home era have flocked to a series of new releases from the streaming giant, including the Polish film originally released under the name “365 Dni.” But unlike offerings like “Unsolved Mysteries” and “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,” this Top 10 contender has the distinction of being critically panned and “controversial.”

And as for that latter descriptor, that’s coming from straight from the official Netflix description, as well as the film’s detractors.

"365 Days" has sparked controversy and condemnation since it hit the streaming service last month.Next Film

What makes it so controversial? There’s no need to look further than the premise for the answer.

(Warning: Spoilers ahead!)

The movie, that’s been billed as the Polish “Fifty Shades of Grey,” is a so-called romance that focuses on the relationship between Massimo (Michele Morrone) and Laura (Anna-Maria Sieklucka) — a crime boss and the woman he drugs and kidnaps. The reason for the abduction is to keep her captive for a full year and convince her to fall in love with him.

According to some critics, who have given it a decisive 0 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, it's basically a “soft-core kidnapping porn.”

But Welsh singer Duffy had a much blunter way of describing the movie when she penned a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings about it, writing that it “glamorizes the brutal reality of sex trafficking, kidnapping and rape.”

“Recently I wrote publicly about an ordeal I was subject to,” she explained in the letter obtained by Deadline. “I was drugged, kidnapped, trafficked and raped. I released a statement of my personal account, which you may find online in further detail on http://www.duffywords.com.

“Today, I really don’t know what to think, say, or do, other than to reach out and explain to you in this letter how irresponsible it was of Netflix to broadcast the film ‘365 Days’. I don’t want to be in this position to have to write to you, but the virtue of my suffering obliges me to do so, because of a violent experience that I endured of the kind that you have chosen to present as ‘adult erotica.’”

She went on to insist that this “should not be anyone’s idea of entertainment, nor should it be described as such, or be commercialized in this manner,” and further asked that Netflix “right this wrong.”

But her message wasn’t only meant for the executive. She also had a message for those who’ve watched the film.

A Change.org petition has gained more than 55,000 signatures demanding Netflix remove the film from the streaming service.Next Film

“Because ‘365 Days’ has proved enormously popular, I also address this letter to viewers directly,” she added. “I encourage the millions who have enjoyed the movie to reflect on the reality of kidnapping and trafficking, of force and sexual exploitation, and of an experience that is the polar opposite of the glossy fantasy depicted in ‘365 Days’.”

Duffy isn’t the only one expressing disgust with both the movie and its popularity. Social media outrage has been mounting since the film debuted on Netflix last month, and now there’s a Change.org petition with more than 55,000 signatures demanding “365 Days” be removed from Netflix.

“These scenes are being watched by millions of impressionable teens and young adults wanting to learn about intimacy,” the petition reads. “Except this isn't intimacy, this is an assault served to us on a silver platter.”

Despite all of this, on Tuesday, leading man Morrone confirmed that there will be a sequel to “365 Days.”