A viral claim stating that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was arrested on the charges of possessing child pornography is found to be fake. The hoax claim also stated that several files of child pornography were recovered from Hastings' possession.
Recently, Netflix came under fire for its promotional poster of award-winning French film 'Cuties'. The poster drew flak for promoting a movie being termed as child porn.
Made by debutant French-Senegalese filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré, Cuties revolves around an eleven-year-old girl who rebels against her conservative family's traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.
'Child Pornography, Sexual Assault Videos Recovered'
The viral claim of Hastings being arrested started circulating on social media after Toronto Today published an article headlined, 'Netflix CEO gets BUSTED with 13,000 files of CHILD PORNOGRAPHY.' The article was published under the conspiracy files section of the website on 12 September.
The report claimed that FBI agents conducted a raid on Hastings' California based house and recovered child pornography. 'Police also found "disturbing videos of Reed Hastings engaged in forced sexual intercourse with several unconscious women" on the seized devices, reported the outlet.
The article, which was later removed from the website, also claimed that the FBI agents found a clandestine drug lab in a downstairs bedroom closet and called the Los Angeles Fire Department and hazmat team to make sure the chemical lab was not a public safety hazard.
According to the website, Hastings is facing 11 charges related to the seizure of more than 13,000 files of graphic child pornography on his computer and various removable storage units.
Fake Article Withdrawn From the Website
The website removed the controversial piece of fake news claiming that they were being threatened of a legal action, reported Snopes. "Unfortunately, we have received threats of litigation over the original article posted on Toronto Today from a Billionaire that we won't name," read the website.
Adding that they were not the 'original source' of the fake claim the Toronto Today added, "Upon consideration, we have removed the original article from the website, and from Toronto Today-controlled Facebook and Twitter accounts. It's not worth the risk."
However, despite the claims being fake, the same went viral on internet with many users sharing the opinions on the social media.
"Netflix CEO arrested for child Pornography. This man is sick!," wrote a user on the micro-blogging site.
"NETFLIX is fueling PEDOPHILIA and displaying CHILD PORN in the movie "CUTIES." What is wrong with you @netflix?! Take it down immediately, arrest the CEO, and never do such a terrible thing again. You've lost all my respect. #CancelNetflx," wrote another user.