Calls for “cancelling” Netflix have spread like wildfire on social media, as #CancelNetflix was trending world wide on twitter, with 600,000 petitioners signing to cancel their subscription. The blow dealt to Netflix follows a row of paedophilic allegations made towards the Hollywood fraternity, with Kevin Spacey most notably ousted for his indelible actions.
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Controversial French film “Cuties” has dealt the ire of its audiences. A film about a young Senegalese girl in Paris who joins “a free-spirited dance clique”, in an attempt to break the shackles of normative and orthodox family values, instead has revoked a strong condemnation and backlash by its critics. The films viewers critiqued the gory portrayal of children in a sexualized manner. A petition on Change.org with regards to the cancellation of the disputed film, has already gained steam, with over 600,000 signers cancelling their subscription to the streaming service.
Criticism erupted in August over a promotional poster for “Cuties” depicting its young cast members in provocative poses and revealing costumes. Netflix at the time apologized for the messaging. “We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for ‘Mignonnes’/’Cuties,’” a Netflix rep said in a statement to Variety. “It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which premiered at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.”
“Cuties,” from French filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the world cinema dramatic directing award. The film is based on Doucouré’s short film “Maman(s),” about an 8-year-old child furious when her polygamous dad invites his new bride into their Parisian apartment, which won the short film international fiction jury award at Sundance in 2016.
Per the Sundance description of “Cuties,” the film “nimbly depicts the tweens’ youthful energy and vulnerabilities while exploring their fumbling eagerness to be identified as sexualized.
Yet, the films viewers did not see eye to eye. According to the conservative American advocacy group the Parents Television Council, which said it reviewed the film, “Cuties” is objectionable because of its overt sexualization of the child characters. That, the PTC alleged, eclipses its implicit message about the dangers of social media and how sexual images in popular culture negatively affect kids.
Netflix however, defends its artistic visions urging and encouraging critics to watch the movie — which it says makes a statement about pressures young girls face in conforming to societal role models of female sexuality.