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Cuties Backlash: Netflix in trouble for promoting film Sexualizing Pre-Teens

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 #CancelNetflix started trending online due to the release of a movie called Cuties, which allegedly sexualized young girls. The company has received charges against sexualizing the female cast in the French movie, which led to the Cuties backlash.

A spokesperson of Netflix stated to Variety that Cuties is a film that speaks about the sexualization of young children. The film has received awards for its powerful story and records insights into how young girls face pressure due to society, social media, and self-doubt. Anyone who cares about such issues must watch the film.

Twitter was trending with the #CancelNetflix campaign on Friday, September 11. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation soon issued a statement criticizing the online streaming company. The statement recorded that they should not have acquired and released the film. It also said that they commend that director Maïmouna Doucouré exposed real threats to growing females and their access to the internet. Still, they cannot accept exploitation or hyper-sexualization of child actresses to make such a point. The statement was sent out by the director of corporate and strategic initiatives at NCOES, Lina Nealon.

Halls of Congress soon found out about the Netflix controversy. Josh Hawley, the Missouri Senator, sent a letter to Reed Hastings, Netflix head, with charges circulating online. The statement was also against the fact that young cast was coached into simulated sexual acts – not just on-screen but also off-screen. Hasting has been asked to respond to several questions about the movie’s marketing and production by September 18.

Cuties backlash: what is the movie about?

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Netflix has become America’s most-watched entertainment option. Moreover, the franchise of The Kissing Booth and Tiger King helped them do more business. However, the platform has been getting a lot of backlash due to accepting controversial content. 

The Cuties backlash is one of the major controversies that Netflix recently got into. The French movie revolves around a Senegalese girl living in Paris. She is only 11 years old and joins an all-girl dance group.

As soon as the first Cuties Netflix poster was released, the company started facing a backlash as it sexualizes pre-teens. The movie premiered on September 9 and has since then shown hundreds of #CancelNetflix tags.

The movie is the debut of Maïmouna Doucouré as a director. She was born in Paris and also to Senegalese immigrants. The movie has been acclaimed at the Sundance Film Festival and also won the Directing Jury Award.

The director’s perspective explained

While speaking through a Netflix Film Club YouTube page, the filmmaker said that Cuties is a story of a young girl “trying to find herself.” The girl is stuck in-between the traditional idea of femininity taught by her mother and another by her friend groups.

The director explains that her inspiration to write the movie was looking at an 11-year-old girl dance group who modeled their routines following adult music videos. She said that she was surprised to see them because of their age. Further, she met hundreds of young girls who grow up during the era of social media.

Young girls think that the more women are sexualized, the more successful they become, said the director. Children imitate what they see and try to achieve the same without understanding what it means, and that is dangerous.

The director told the Deadline that she got death threats right after the poster was out. Soon she received an apology from Netflix’s Co-Chief Executive Officer, Ted Sarandos, for the same reason. The director said that numerous people are attacking the character of her film without watching it.

According to the filmmaker, Cuties was intended to help young girls and make parents understand the difficult transition into adulthood. Several film critics are moved by the vision she portrayed. Many people are writing positive reviews and trying to explain to people that it is not what it looks like. However, #CancelNetflix is still trending. People showed anger through platforms like Rotten Tomatoes and brought down the score to 5%. However, the critical consensus is 90%.

Cuties backlash didn’t make Netflix remove the film from library

Even with the ongoing campaign of Cuties backlash, Netflix has not removed the film. The filmmaker is hoping for a positive outcome around its troubled release in the US. She said that she hopes people who haven’t seen it will do, and she awaits their reaction. She also hopes that people understand the battle she is trying to fight here and join the forces. Also, understanding how hyper-sexualization of children works can change the world and bring that down.

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