Netflix is under fire for their original film “Cuties,” which is said to be a coming-of-age story about an 11-year-old girl and her budding interest in a school dance group. A promo poster depicted the young girls in skimpy clothing posing in suggestive manners, and the film received a TV-MA rating. Outrage over the film’s “sexualization of children” ensued, and a petition to remove the film from Netflix has received over 168,000 signatures and counting.
“This movie is disgusting as it sexualizes an 11 year old for the viewing pleasure of pedophiles and also negatively influences our children…There is no excuse, this is dangerous content.”Petition to Remove Cuties From Netflix, Change.org
Netflix issued an apology and stated that they had updated the film’s description and marketing image.
Many on both the Right and the Left have expressed concern and outrage. Award winning blogger and “Black radical feminist” Claire Heuchan tweeted that “a sexualized image is too often the price of mainstream success for Black women & girls. Disgraceful.” The film has received rife criticsm, with comments including “Had to check this existed myself. Netflix are you alright? Who pays someone to go film young girls twerking” and “Disgusted on so many levels with what you did here. We’re out. It was fun while it lasted. Will miss some of your better moments.”
“Yesterday when Netflix got called out for their vile movie ‘Cuties,’ they tweeted basically ‘So sorry. But (giggle) it won an award at Sundance.’ Reminder: the co-founder of Sundance was busted molesting a chiId multiple times between age 7-9.”Twitter user @kate_awakening
Netflix has a movie called “Cuties” about 11 year olds in a twerking dance group. Some of the reviews claim it’s a “commentary” on the sexualization of children but this is the poster. And keep in mind that the lead actress is actually 11 years old. In the film and real life. pic.twitter.com/4p2exeSvXw— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) August 20, 2020
However, some on the Left have noted that despite Netflix’s poor promotion decisions, the message of the movie is actually a positive one:
“The inappropriate marketing for ‘Cuties’ stands in contrast to the film itself…Doucouré uses her ‘Cuties’ storyline to openly criticize the ways in which society puts pressure on young girls to be overtly sexual.”Zack Sharf, New York–based News Editor at IndieWire
Vice Media‘s Refinery 29, a website focused on young women, seconded this notion, writing of the director’s story, “If it makes you somewhat uncomfortable, it’s doing its job — that discomfort is exactly what director Maïmouna Doucouré’s wants to flesh out.”