Adapted from a novel by Polish writer Blanka Lipińska, the Polish romantic drama arrived on Netflix in June and follows a young woman (Anna-Maria Sieklucka) who is kidnapped and imprisoned for 365 days by a mafia boss (Michele Morrone) infatuated with her. After her attempts to escape fail and she gets to know her captor, she eventually falls in love with him.
The Change.org petition criticises the controversial drama for “glorifying Stockholm Syndrome and abuse” and describes its availability on Netflix as a “mockery” for all victims and survivors of sexual assault and abuse.
“For those who have watched it, we know he talks about child trafficking, sedates her, imprisons her, sexually assaults her and has sexual relations with her without consent,” the petition reads. “The main character also uses abuse tactics such as gas lighting, coercion, reproductive coercion and Stockholm Syndrome to financially, physically, sexually, emotionally and digitally abuse the woman he had taken.”
The petition also says that Netflix should have provided disclaimers about the sexual violence featured in the film and resources about consent, but now the film should be removed altogether. “By taking down this movie on Netflix, we can protect sexual violence in adolescent women and adult women.”
365 Days has been widely watched by Netflix viewers, having spent almost a month in the top 10 most popular films on the platform despite its zero per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The rise in the petition’s popularity follows Netflix’s decision to keep 365 Days on the platform despite calls from Welsh singer Duffy and other viewers to remove the film.
Earlier this month, Welsh singer Duffy wrote an open letter to Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings, calling for the film’s withdrawal from the platform
“It grieves me that Netflix provides a platform for such ‘cinema’, that eroticises kidnapping and distorts sexual violence and trafficking as a ‘sexy’ movie. I just can’t imagine how Netflix could overlook how careless, insensitive and dangerous this is,” wrote Duffy, who revealed this year that she was drugged, raped and held captive for weeks.
She added that the film “glamorises the brutal reality of sex trafficking, kidnapping and rape” and that the streamer has not realised how the film “has brought great hurt to those who have endured the pains and horrors that this film glamorises, for entertainment and for dollars”.
According to The Guardian, a spokesperson for Netflix responded by pointing out that the film was released theatrically in several countries in February and Netflix was not involved in its production, it only licensed the film.
“We believe strongly in giving our members around the world more choice and control over their Netflix viewing experience,” the spokesman said.