Furious viewers continued to mount a cancel Netflix campaign Thursday as the controversial French film ‘Cuties’ hit the streaming service.
Backlash against the movie erupted in August when Netflix debuted a trailer and poster prompting outrage from social media users who were left horrified by the ‘sexualized’ portrayal of its young stars.
While director Maïmouna Doucouré, 35, said she was stunned by the outrage and that the the poster was ‘not representative of the film’, anger and calls for it to be dropped remain.
Viewers posted video and images of the twerking 11-year-olds featured in the Netflix trailer Thursday as they accused the movie and its makers of pedophilia.
Furious viewers continue to mount a cancel Netflix campaign as the controversial French film ‘Cuties’ hit the streaming service on Wednesday amid claims it supports child abuse
Social media users have hit out at people defending the movie as they claim that it promotes pedophilia. A Netflix trailer of the movie featured dancing 11-year-old girls, pictured
Several social media users accused Netflix of supporting child abuse by hosting the movie.
‘Unbelievable that they released “Cuties”. So child porn is ok now Netflix? Raise your hand if you agree this is disgusting,’ wrote Twitter user David Fischer, adding the hashtag #CancelNetflix.
‘If you watch 11-year-olds twerk, you’re a pervert. If you direct 11 year olds to touch themselves on camera, you’re a pedophile. If you support Netflix making and airing #Cuties, you’re enabling abuse,’ said Republican candidate for Congress James P. Bradley.
Some critics hit out at those who are defending the movie and claimed that it should not be sold as art.
‘Netflix is comfortable with this. Plenty of people will defend it. This is where our culture is at,’ said Daily Caller writer Mary Margaret Olohan.
‘If you call “Cuties” art or a “social statement”. I call you a child abuser. We have no time for niceties while children are being sexualized for mass entertainment,’ added writer Sonia Poulton.
Others accused both Democrats and Republicans of not speaking out and urged them to call for its removal.
‘Our elected officials are mighty silent on the Cuties movie by Netflix. Even those running for office, supported by the top tiers of both establishment parties, are silent. I will never be silent. Why run just to be silent? #CancelNetflix and their board members,’ said Republican House candidate Buzz Patterson.
‘The fact that mainstream media is making the pedophile-fodder of #Cuties into a right-v-left thing should truly embarrass anyone who is on the political left. Protecting children should be universal, not relegate to one side of the political spectrum,’ wrote user JD Rucker.
Some social media users accused the movie of ‘child porn’
Others blasted those who are the movie is ‘art’ as a ‘child abuser’
Candidates for Congress also got involved in the debate
An online petition calling for people to cancel their Netflix subscription over its hosting of the movie almost had 600,000 signatures as of Thursday evening and was steadily growing
An online petition has also been started calling on people to cancel their Netflix subscription in light of its decision to host the movie.
‘Please make the choice to prove to Netflix our children are more valuable than our entertainment, and our money is better spent else where!’ reads the petition that has been signed by almost 600,000 people as of Thursday evening.
Cuties, tells the story of an 11-year-old Senegalese Muslim girl named Amy, and, according to the director, it is meant to depict the struggle of ‘many children who have to navigate between a liberal western culture and a conservative culture at home’.
However, while publicizing the movie, Netflix chose to focus almost solely on Amy’s participation in her school dance team and their quest to ‘twerk their way to stardom at a local dance contest’.
The site’s trailer and poster featured imagery of pre-adolescent girls dancing provocatively in very skimpy outfits, while Netflix’s description of the movie centered around their ‘increasingly sensual dance routines’.
Cuties, tells the story of an 11-year-old Senegalese Muslim girl named Amy, pictured front
The original French promotional poster depicts the youngsters on a shopping trip
According to Doucouré – and several film critics – it is meant to offer commentary on the dangers of society sexualizing its youth. Pictured, a scene from the movie
In stark contrast, the original poster for the movie – which has been used on other sites like IMDB – depicts the youngsters on a shopping trip.
Netflix has since issued an apology for the trailer and poster featuring the skimpy outfits.
‘We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Cuties,’ a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement at the time.
‘It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film, which premiered at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.’
Maïmouna Doucouré, the director of upcoming Netflix movie Cuties, revealed she was sent death threats after a poster for the movie was slammed for ‘sexualizing’ minors
Doucouré also received a phone call from the streaming site’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos, who made a personal apology for the error, she revealed.
‘We had several discussions back and forth after this happened. Netflix apologized publicly, and also personally to me,’ the director shared.
Netflix has changed the synopsis for the movie now reading: ‘Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.’
However, before being changed, it read: ’11-year-old Amy lives with her mom, Mariam, and younger brother, awaiting her father to rejoin the family from Senegal.
‘Amy is fascinated by disobedient neighbor Angelica’s free-spirited dance clique, a group that stands in sharp contrast to stoic Mariam’s deeply held traditional values.
‘Undeterred by the girls’ initial brutal dismissal and eager to escape her family’s simmering dysfunction, Amy, through an ignited awareness of her burgeoning femininity, propels the group to enthusiastically embrace an increasingly sensual dance routine, sparking the girls’ hope to twerk their way to stardom at a local dance contest.’
While the streaming site accepted full responsibility for the blunder the damage was already done, with both Doucouré and her movie facing furious attacks from thousands of outraged viewers.
She revealed she even received death threats after the ‘hyper sexualized’ poster and trailer went online.
‘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-serialization of children,’ she told Deadline. ‘I also received numerous death threats.’
Many Twitter users highlighted the fact that Netflix was to blame for the provocative portrayal of the movie, but that didn’t stop its director Doucouré from being attacked online
Actress Tessa Thompson was among those to rush to the defense of the movie
‘I discovered the poster at the same time as the American public,’ she explained.
‘My reaction? 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, attacks on me. I didn’t understand what was going on.
‘That was when I went and saw what the poster looked like.’
According to Doucouré – and several film critics – the movie is meant to offer commentary on the dangers of society sexualizing its youth, however that message was completely lost in translation thanks in large part to Netflix’s ‘hyper-sexualized’ depiction of the film and its young stars.
Among those to rush to Doucouré’s defense was actress Tessa Thompson who said she was ‘gutted’ when she first watched the movie.
‘Disappointed to see how it was positioned in terms of marketing. I understand the response of everybody. But it doesn’t speak to the film I saw,’ she added.