The controversial French film Cuties has sparked a ton of backlash against Netflix, with critics saying that it over-sexualizes children.
The movie tells the story of a talented 11-year-old Senegalese girl in Paris who joins a hip-hop dance troupe in an effort to escape family dysfunction.
Despite the outrage, the film was praised when it debuted back in January during the Sundance Film Festival in Utah for how it addressed the hypersexualization of prepubescent girls.
Netflix was forced to apologize for a promo poster of the child stars posing seductively in their dancing costumes, and after the movie premiered on Netflix this week, the backlash continued as the hashtag “#CancelNetflix” remained the trending topic on Twitter for two days.
YOU can make a difference. pic.twitter.com/HzZ0gC5XLF
— Ron Setran (@RonSetran) September 11, 2020
— Leon (@Leonrh4) September 11, 2020
#CancelNetflix because they put borderline child p/rn on their platform. Cancel it because they also put a movie that romanticizes sex trafficking and kidnapping. Cancel it because it's trying to normalize sexual violence. pic.twitter.com/Wo7ssWIPQD
— Ella #BlackLivesMatter (@Ella58577505) September 11, 2020
— Char@f (@guenezch) September 11, 2020
#CancelNetflix Because of the release of the movie "Cuties" which is about an 11-year-old African Muslim girl studying in France. The film offends Islam and its greed for pedophilia. In addition to a lot of disgusting acts released by Netflix ?? pic.twitter.com/U5Qnm29eEW
— Mohammed ali (@Mhmdai17) September 11, 2020
— ???? ? ? (@sxftjxn) September 11, 2020
— Khaleeji (@Khaleeji18) September 11, 2020
A Change.org petition was also launched, urging Netflix customers to cancel their subscriptions due to the popular streaming service hosting content “that exploits children and creates a disturbing vibe.”
“From cuties to Big Mouth to other movies mocking religions and exploiting children, Netflix is no longer the family friendly streaming service I once believed it to be,” reads a message on the campaign, which currently has over 600,000 signatures.
The backlash has prompted Netflix officials to release a statement defending Cuties and insisting that the film “is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children.”
The statement continued: “It’s an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up — and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”