The movie focuses on a group of 11-year-old girls who form a twerking dance group, much to the chagrin of one character’s very conservative Senegalese family. Netflix previously apologized after the poster for the French film showed the underage cast posing in a sexual manner. Now, there’s renewed criticism over the movie, which premiered at Sundance.
After a video came out showing a dance scene from the movie, which puts a spotlight on the underage girls’ provocative dance moves, many critics immediately took to social media demanding people cancel Netflix over the film’s content.
In addition to the hashtag trending on Twitter, a Change.org petition has garnered more than 598,700 signatures calling for people to cancel their Netflix subscriptions in light of “Cuties” being added to its library of content.
In a statement to Fox News on Thursday, a Netflix spokesperson said: “Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. 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.”
The movie, which also goes by the title “Mignonnes,” was written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré, who previously revealed she received death threats after Netflix’s debacle with the promotional poster.
“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 hypersexualization of children,” she told Deadline. “I also received numerous death threats.”
Netflix issued an apology statement at the time to FOX Business in which it noted that its promotional poster is not indicative of what the larger plot of the film is about. But many balked at that notion given the context of the new video showing the dance routine.
“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties,” a Netflix spokesperson told FOX Business in August. “It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film, which premiered at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.”
However, Doucoure notes that those who have seen the film in its entirety support the notion that the poster and clip — out of context — do not accurately represent the movie. According to Deadline, the director emphasized that she, and the movie’s actual message, does not approve of the hypersexualization of children.
Netflix did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.