Netflix accused of 'sexualising young girls' with promotion for Cuties film

20 August 2020, 15:07

The streaming platform is facing backlash over their promotion of French film Cuties.

Netflix has come under fire after being accused of 'sexualising children' with their promotion of French film Cuties.

The film, titled Mignonnes in France, tells the story of an 11-year-old girl from a traditional Senegalese Muslim family who finds her escape in joining a dance group.

On Netflix, the original synopsis read: "Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions."

However, the streaming giant's promotion of Cuties, which is written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year, has been dragged on social media.

In the poster which circulating online, Amy can be seen posing inappropriately alongside the other three girls in her dance group, all wearing skin-tight booty shorts and crop tops, causing major backlash online.

In contrast, the original French poster for film features the girls running over the top of a hill wearing less revealing clothes and throwing their shopping bags into the air.

"I just found a trailer for the movie "Cuties" on Netflix and the blatant sexualization of young girls is DISGUSTING. No one wants to see their child dressed and posed like this. WHY IS NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS?" wrote one Twitter user.

"It looks like this is blatantly sexualizing kids. Right? @netflix #cuties Maybe let kids be kids," wrote another.

A petition on Change.org calling for the film to be removed because it "promotes child pornography" has already gained over 30,000 signatures at the time of writing.

Netflix's synopsis for the film has since been changed, with it now reading: "11-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew."

In a statement to Metro, Netflix said: "This was not an accurate representation of the film so the image and description has been updated."

Speaking Cineuropa, Cuties writer and director Doucouré said: "Today, the sexier and the more objectified a woman is, the more value she has in the eyes of social media. And when you’re 11, you don’t really understand all these mechanisms, but you tend to mimic, to do the same thing as others in order to get a similar result.

“I think it is urgent that we talk about it, that a debate be had on the subject.”

Cuties is set to premiere on Netflix on 9 September.

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