Coming-to-age French film Netflix Cuties once again became target of immense backlash, as the movie finally premiered on Sep 10th. Created by French filmmaker Maimouna Doucoure, the brandish movie has bought the streaming service under hot water as #CancelNetflix and #BoycottNetflix trends on social media. The critics demand complete shutdown of the globally famous entertainment forum for depicting and promoting illegal and inappropriate content.
Moreover, a petition on change.org calling Netflix members to cancel their subscription over the streamer service presenting content that exploits children and creates a disturbing vibe currently has 600000 signers.
About Netflix Cuties
Revolving around an 11 years old Senegalese girl Amy, Netflix Cuties is a coming to age dance movie that tells the story of a young French Muslim girl, who defies her religious family and joins a “twerking dance clique.” Hoping to gain popularity, she starts to explore her femininity, flying in the face of her Muslim upbringing and cultural values.
Netflix’s official synopsis reads:
“Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.”
The criticism officially stirred previous month, soon after the platform launched the artwork for Netflix Cuties. While the official French posters represented four young girls, walking on the streets, flexing with their shopping bags, the American creation was much diverse and suggestive. The artworks illustrated minor cast members in provocative and amorous poses, dressed in cropped tops and slinky shorts that gave the picture of sexualizing young girls. The artworks put forward by the streamer for its forthcoming film sparked outrage among the viewers, as they labeled it Netflix’s Cuties to be child porn and pedophilia. However, the filmmakers revealed there were two posters for the screenplay and Netflix illustrated the worst and offensive one.
As the controversy over Netflix Cuties burst forth to seriousness, the platform delivered an apology note as they took down the offensive posters.
“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.” -Stated Netflix.
Furthermore, Netflix also reissued the synopsis for Netflix cuties, which previously read: “Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions.”
Nevertheless, the critics seemed strong-minded on their decision as they pressed for cancellation of the forthcoming film. Hence, Netflix Cuties release on Thursday bubbled up the dispute yet again, turning the tables down for the streaming platform along with the creators and producers.
Here to mention, owing to the controversy surrounding Cuties, the film garnered extremely low ratings of less than 10% on multiple film scoring sites, including ‘Rotten tomatoes’, and ‘IMDb.’
PTC’s statement on Netflix Cuties
Moreover, Parent’s Television Council also released their official statement about Netflix Cuties, after completely reviewing the film, as it “stands by its earlier criticism that the TV-MA-rated film sexualizes children.”
“By removing the offensive poster and replacing it with a more innocuous one, Netflix might actually have made the situation worse by suggesting that ‘Cuties’ is nothing more than a cute, coming-of-age movie. Although the film tackles an important topic — one that under different circumstances we might even applaud — it’s the way the film goes about it that’s problematic. This film could have been a powerful rebuke of popular culture that sexualizes children and robs them of their innocence.” – Stated Melissa Henson, program director for the PTC.
Maimouna Doucoure on her film’s reviews
The director of Netflix Cuties Maimouna Doucoure revealed how she became the open-target to viewer’s harshness and death threats.
“I discovered the poster at the same time as the American public. It was a strange experience. I hadn’t seen the poster until after I started getting all these reactions on social media, direct messages from people, and attacks on me. I didn’t understand what was going on. That was when I went and saw what the poster looked like. I received numerous attacks on my character from people who had not seen the film, who thought I was actually making a film that was apologetic about hyper-sexualization of children. I also received numerous death threats.”
To sum up, Netflix Cuties was the epic failure for the platform with its over-provocativeness and presentation of minor’s sexual content. Hence, boycotting the screenplay was a wise choice as it is considered unlawful to promote such inappropriate projects that too related to innocent youth.