Hollywood has a long history of sexualizing young children for “entertainment,” and their utter disdain towards the movie Sound of Freedom, which brought more awareness to the problem of child sex trafficking, was inconceivable, even for Hollywood. So, even though it should come as no surprise, it was still shocking to see a child masturbation scene on Prime Video’s futuristic, sci-fi comedy Upload, involving a little boy who is just 11 years old in real life.
Prime has released two episodes of the show, which is in its third season, in the last two weeks. Episode 3, “CyberDiscountDay,” has one of the main characters, Aleesha (Zainab Johnson), hosting a dinner for her family while also working remotely (via VR googles) at Lakeview, a virtual world where rich people can “upload” to after they die.
Just after she puts a ham into her 3-D printer to “cook” it, she turns around to find her young family member Gohan (Marcello Guedes) facing forward on one of her apartment’s massage walls, clearly experiencing sexual pleasure as the wall masturbates him. She tells him to stop, but he just ignores her and tells the wall to keep going.
(Warning: Graphic. While we strongly disagree with the exploitation of the minor in this scene, we feel it's imperative to call it out, stand up against it, and show our readers just how far Hollywood is going on this slippery slope of normalizing the sexualization of children so that we may hopefully put an end to it.)
Aleesha: Sorry, guys, I just have a couple things to keep checking on. Everyone have drinks?
Family: Yeah. Yeah, we're good.
Aleesha: Oh. I got to get the ham started. Oh! Gohan! No! Not your front.
Aleesha: Stop him.
I’m sorry, but there’s nothing even remotely funny or entertaining about sexualizing a child this way. Unless you’re a pedophile, of course. I’m sure any pedophiles watching appreciated the show for providing fodder for their perverted fantasies.
We’ve been warning about this slippery slope towards normalizing pedophilia and child pornography in Hollywood for many years. It wasn’t that long ago that Hollywood featured cartoon scenes of child masturbation, even going so far as to joke they can get away with it because it’s a cartoon.
From a 2017 Newsbusters story on Netflix’s Big Mouth:
The final scene acknowledges that this series would never make it anywhere else but Netflix. The Hormone Monster says, “Maybe one day you’ll look back on this time fondly. And perhaps even make something beautiful out of it.” Andrew replies, “What? Like a show about a bunch of kids masturbating?” Nick chimes in, “Isn’t that basically just like child pornography?” The Monster responds, “Holy shit. I hope not. I mean, maybe if it’s animated, we can get away with it.” Then he turns to the camera and says, “Right?”
They’re not even trying to hide the fact they know it’s child pornography. And now, we’ve gone from cartoon depictions to this real life one using a child actor. What parent found out about this role and thought, “Oh this would be perfect for my little boy”?! They’re just as culpable as Upload’s writers and producers for this exploitation.
This show may be futuristic, but their sexualization of a minor child is happening now. And if more people don’t stand up to it, it’s scary to think what the future may hold for innocent children.