The controversial French film Cuties which released on Netflix on September 9th has sparked a world wide hashtag storm on twitter, called #CancelNetflix. It is currently trending number 5 around the globe, while number 1 in the United States.
The film follows a 12-year old Senegalese girl who joins a free-spirited dance crew to escape her immigrant family’s traditions and dysfunctions. The film got backlash from multiple sources when they advertised the children in the first look posters in a sexualized manner, which was released last month. Netflix has since apologized for the promotional posters and have updated them to truly represent the foreign film.
Cuties or Mignonnes in French, is the brainchild of writer and first time director Maïmouna Doucouré. The film won her a directing award in the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. The film was met with rave reviews when premiered during the festival.According to Sundance, “the film nimbly depicts the tweens’ youthful energy and vulnerabilities while exploring their fumbling eagerness to be identified as sexualized. Fathia Youssouf captivates as Amy, shifting like a chameleon between the different identities her character is juggling and deftly anchoring the film’s immensely watchable, vivacious young cast.” Even actress Tessa Thompson who viewed the film during the festival enjoyed it and was unhappy with the depiction of the promotional posters for the film.
But there have been strong opposition from Conservative advocacy group Parents Television Council and conservative publication the Daily Caller, whose reporter tweeted a video clip of the girls dancing and twerking. A petition on Change.org calling Netflix users to cancel their subscriptions over “Cuties and other religious mocking which exploits children and creates a dangerous vibe”. There have been over 600 thousand signers so far.
The film which was supposed to spark a talk about the sexualization of young children, girls in particular in our current times, has ironically created a different spark about its own overly sexualized depiction of young girls. For those of us who have not even seen the movie, it might be best to reserve judgement till after you watched the film, but it does not look good for Netflix.
— Emil Sayad (@egeek84) September 10, 2020
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