Man stalks woman. Man kidnaps woman. Woman falls in love with man. Not exactly the premise of what I’d consider a romantic movie. Yet if you’ve scrolled through Netflix’s Top 10 list recently, you’ve likely come across 365 Days. On the surface it looks like a sexy thriller: The artwork for the film shows a man looking at the camera while gripping a woman’s breast (subtle). But read the description: “A woman falls victim to a dominant mafia boss, who imprisons her and gives her one year to fall in love with him.” Um, what?
The movie, 365 Days (or, 365 Dni) is based on the first novel of a trilogy written by author Blanka Lipińska. After the movie adaptation’s success in Poland, Netflix released the film internationally and it became enough of a hit that it reached the aforementioned Top 10. Some have compared the trilogy to the popular Fifty Shades of Grey franchise for its use of BDSM, but there’s a major difference between the two: While Christian Grey is problematic in his own way, he never holds Anastasia Steele against her will.
Netflix did label 365 Days as “controversial” on the title page, but many viewers are calling for the streaming service to go even further, petitioning for the movie to be taken down altogether.
“So I’ve seen a lot of feedback from the movie 365 days on Netflix, saying it was really good…,” wrote one user on Twitter. “[But] the whole movie is based off of a disgusting rape/sex trafficking culture.”
“365 Days on Netflix is glorifying kidnapping, sexual/physical assault, and Stockholm syndrome,” adds another. “There is nothing romantic or sexy about this movie at all.”
Singer Duffy recently spoke out against the movie in the form of an open letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. “I just can’t imagine how Netflix could overlook how careless, insensitive, and dangerous this is,” she wrote. “[It] glamorizes the brutal reality of sex trafficking, kidnapping, and rape.” In February, Duffy revealed that she had once been drugged, raped, and held captive for several days.
Instagram influencer Mik Zazon has been especially vocal in opposition of the movie and created a change.org petition calling for its removal. She argues that “watching abusive behavior romanticized in popular culture makes it more real and accepted as romantic when it actually happens in real life.”
This all raises the question: Why was a movie like 365 Days, in which a sex crime is being marketed as a fantasy, made in the first place? I’d argue that a platform as prolific and high-profile as Netflix does have some obligation to be conscious of the content it’s distributing. The series 13 Reasons Why—another Netflix original rife with controversies—at least includes a content warning that the series contains graphic portrayals of sexual assault. But aside from that “controversial” label on the title page, 365 Days has no such notice. In fact, Michele Morrone—the actor who plays the kidnapping mobster—said he’s signed on for a sequel.
Glamour reached out to the streaming platform for comment, and we’ll update if we hear back.
Originally Appeared on Glamour