criticized for condemning Jerry Harris' arrest but defending Cuties

has been criticized for saying abuse of minors is a 'terrible crime' in the wake of Jerry Harris' arrest on child porn charges after earlier defending the controversial film Cuties as 'social commentary'. 

Harris, the star of 's Cheer docuseries, was arrested and charged in Chicago on Thursday for child pornography following allegations of inappropriate conduct with a 13-year-old boy when he was 19. 

Following his arrest, a spokesperson said in a statement that the streaming service was 'shocked by this news'. 

'Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process,' the spokesperson said. 

The statement prompted criticism from some on social media who compared Harris' case to the controversy surrounding Cuties - a French film currently streaming on that has been accused of sexualizing little girls. 

DailyMail.com has contacted for comment.  

Jerry Harris, the star of Netflix's Cheer docuseries, was arrested and charged in Chicago on Thursday for child pornography following allegations of inappropriate conduct with a 13-year-old boy when he was 19

Jerry Harris, the star of 's Cheer docuseries, was arrested and charged in Chicago on Thursday for child pornography following allegations of inappropriate conduct with a 13-year-old boy when he was 19

'So condemns Jerry Harris (star of the documentary Cheer) for his alleged abuse of minors but they're still defending f***ing Cuties?' one critic tweeted. 

Another said: 'I find this comment from talking about the Jerry Harris case funny seeing as found it ok to release Cuties on their platform.'

'So this Jerry Harris of 's Cheer got arrested for child pornography, but they didn't arrest whoever made the film Cuties or arrest whomever runs that promotes this?' another tweet read. 

Republican lawmakers last week called for a federal investigation into the production and distribution of Cuties after alleging it promotes pedophilia. 

has defended the film, saying it is a 'social commentary against the sexualization of young children'. 

Senator Ted Cruz told Attorney General Bill Barr in a letter last week that the film is 'likely' to encourage pedophiles.

'The film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing,' Cruz said.

He said that the Justice Department should determine if the French filmmakers or 'violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography'.

The statement prompted criticism from some on social media who compared Harris' case to the controversy surrounding Cuties - a French film currently streaming on Netflix that has been accused of sexualizing little girls

The statement prompted criticism from some on social media who compared Harris' case to the controversy surrounding Cuties - a French film currently streaming on that has been accused of sexualizing little girls

The film, called 'Mignonnes' in French, portrays a young, rebellious French Senegalese girl who joins a pre-teen hip-hop dance group that is pushed into performing suggestive dances.

It shows the young girls dressing in risqué outfits while twerking.

The film earned director Maimouna Doucoure an award at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. 

In an op-ed in the Washington Post on Wednesday, Doucoure rejected the charges of abusing girls, and said her film was about the objectification of women and children, and the pressure pre-teen girls feel to be pretty and sexy.

'This film is my own story,' the Senagalese-French filmmaker wrote, which she said she made 'to start a debate about the sexualization of children in society today'.

The initial campaign against Cuties called for conservatives to close their accounts and used the hashtag #CancelNetflix on Twitter.

Some used that same hashtag when tweeting about the arrest of the 21-year-old celebrity cheerleader on Thursday. 

Harris' arrest came just days after 14-year-old cheerleading twin brothers in Texas filed a lawsuit alleging he solicited sexually explicit photos

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