Netflix is under fire for a soon-to-be-released film titled “Cuties” which critics allege sexualizes young girls, including the 11-year-old lead actress, by depicting them twerking and wearing very little clothing on promotional materials.
According to The Daily Caller, an original description on the promotional material for the film released by Netflix describes “Cuties” as follows: “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 original promotional image released by Netflix shows four pre-pubescent, scantily clad girls in highly sensual positions.
Netflix has since apologized for the suggestive promotional material and changed both the image and the description.
Now, the description of the film provided by Netflix has been sanitized and changed to read, “Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.”
As an editorial decision, The Daily Citizen has chosen not to republish the original promotional material. However, if you wish to view the disturbing promo, you can view The Daily Caller’s tweet depicting it by clicking here (warning: sensitive content).
“Stop sexualizing children,” one person wrote on Twitter.
A summary of the film provided by The Wrap says the 11-year-old girl in the film, Amy, becomes “aware of her own femininity well beyond her years through dance. She soon inspires the girls to embrace more sensual dance moves as part of their routine even as she begins to face the realities of growing up, and they hope to twerk their way to stardom at a local dance contest.”
Apparently, Netflix picked up the film after it won the Directing Award in the World Cinema Dramatic category award at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
“Cuties” is originally a French film which was first released under the title “Mignonnes.”
In a statement to The Daily Citizen, a Netflix spokesperson said, “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. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.”
Netflix has also posted the statement on Twitter.
A source claimed to The Daily Citizen that the film, once released, will not be as scandalous as the original promotional material made it appear. The source also stated that Netflix currently has no plans to remove or not release the film, since the promo material is allegedly not representative of it.
Absent a change in course, the film will be released to Netflix on September 9, 2020.
The trailer however, which has been viewed over 2.3 million times, still depicts a pre-pubescent girl scantily dressed and twerking in a sexually charged way.
As Merriam-Webster notes, twerking is necessarily sexual. Twerking is “sexually suggestive dancing characterized by rapid, repeated hip thrusts and shaking of the buttocks especially while squatting,” the dictionary states.
Here rises a question: How can only the promotional material be scandalous, as Netflix claims, but not the actual film, when the film is premised on very young girls learning how to twerk?
Conservative commentator Matt Walsh didn’t hold back in his criticism of the new film. In an op-ed in The Daily Wire, Walsh wrote, “If they are looking to provide a critical commentary on the sexualization of children, it is hard to understand why they would want 11-year-olds to provide the demonstration. It seems rather counterproductive to decry something by actually doing the thing you are decrying.”
Writer-director Maïmouna Doucouré said of her desire to create the film, “In our culture, even today, I can say I’m not totally free. Because I love to wear short dresses and at the same time, when I go to a religious ceremony, I wear a veil. Just choose as a woman: who do you want to be?”
On the film-review website, Rotten Tomatoes, the film scores an 82% based on the 17 critics who have reviewed the film.
A petition to “Remove Cuties from Netflix” has been started on Change.org and has garnered over 55,000 signatures within hours of being launched. To view or sign the petition and ask Netflix not to release the film “Cuties,” click here.
This is not the first time Netflix has received harsh criticism for promoting films with material contrary to traditional values. Last December, Netflix also faced harsh backlash for featuring the film “The Last Temptation of Christ.” The movie featured Jesus as a homosexual man with a boyfriend.
You can follow this author on Twitter @MettlerZachary
Photo from XanderSt / Shutterstock.com
Visit our Election 2020 page