Netflix apologizes after being accused of sexualizing children with promotion of film 'Cuties'
A scene from the film "Cuties" is shown here. (Netflix)
TORONTO -- Netflix is being accused of sexualizing children with its promotion of the upcoming French film “Cuties,” which centres on an 11-year-old girl who joins a “twerking” dance troupe.
The film’s original synopsis, which has since been updated, stated: “Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family's traditions.”
The new summary for the film reads: “Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.”
A trailer for “Cuties,” which is scheduled to be released on Netflix Canada on Sept. 9, shows the girls wearing crop tops and other revealing clothing while they dance provocatively in several scenes.
Netflix apologized in an emailed statement to CTVNews.ca for the way the film was marketed and said it had updated the pictures and description.
“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,” the company said.
According to Netflix’s website, the film’s director, Maimouna Doucoure, won the Jury Award for Directing at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
While Doucoure won praise for her work on the film, the reaction online has been far less complimentary.
Several Change.org petitions calling for the release of “Cuties” to be cancelled have popped up in recent days with thousands of signatures each.
One of those petitions, which has already garnered more than 28,000 signatures at the time of writing, demands that Netflix removes the film because it “promotes child pornography.”
“The movie ‘Cuties’ shows children dressed provocatively, dancing sexually and is rated only for adult viewers. It was created for the entertainment of adults who are pedophiles. Please sign the petition to protect our children from exploitation in movies,” the description reads.
Another petition describes the film as “disgusting” and “dangerous.”
On social media, many commenters questioned Netflix’s decision to release the film.