Netflix Responds to ‘Cuties’ Backlash

by Shine My Crown Staff
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On Thursday, Netflix released a statement in response to the online backlash over a newly added movie titled Cuties.

The movie focuses on an 11-year-old girl who joins a controversial dance group, much to her conservative Senegalese family’s dismay. The movie has been slammed as kiddie porn, as many of the dance routines are highly sexual. The general consensus is that these young girls should not be starring in such a sexually-charged movie — and that Netflix should not be promoting it.

“‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement to Variety. “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.”

Director by French filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré premiered the flick at the Sundance Film Festival in January. According to Vanity Fair, she explained that the project was inspired after witnessing a group of young girls performing what she described as “sensual” dances for an audience of their parents.

“In a moment, a group of dancers come on the stage and dance. It was very fascinating but at the same time very disturbing because they were only 11 years old, but they were dancing with a very sensual dance, wearing clothes that were very short,” Doucouré said at the time.

Last month, Doucouré revealed she received death threats after Netflix’s promotional poster for the movie sparked outrage.

“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 removed the poster and offered up an apology:

“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties,” a Netflix spokesperson said. “It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film, which premiered at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.”

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