Controversial French film "Cuties" was added to the streaming platform Netflix on September 9. As soon as the movie as made available for viewing, the platform found itself in hot water for "promoting pedophilia."
Back in August, Netflix was called out by the public after it released the official poster of the movie. Despite the negative reaction, the streaming service still pushed through with the movie's release.
Now that the movie has dropped, the backlash escalated, with the public now demanding Netflix to be canceled in response to the movie's perceived sexualization of children as young as 11-years-old.
The hashtag #CancelNetflix immediately trended no.1 in the United States, causing a divide between the conservatives and the liberals, according to New York Post.
Conservatives are accusing the streaming service and Hollywood of being okay with pedophilia, and not seeing anything wrong with the film and how the 11-year-old children were sexualized by dancing provocatively, wearing short skirts and flashing their underwear.
What was the movie about?
According to CheatSheet, the plot involves a Senegalese Muslim girl who has to decide to adhere to traditional principles or one of internet culture.
The film condemns the hypersexualization of young girls in the present culture, and it is something that made sense to the French audience.
The original title "Mignonnes" is critically acclaimed in France. The film is directed by Maïmouna Doucouré, a Black French director who is making her debut with this film.
The protagonist of the film, 11-year-old Amy, became fascinated with a twerking dance crew. In her hopes to join the crew, she starts to explore her "femininity, defying her family's traditions."
In the original poster design, it shows the young girls walking down a street with shopping bags and throwing confetti, but Netflix's version was different, as it showed the children in full makeup, wearing revealing clothes and posing in a provocative manner, and that is the poster that circulated online.
As of September 10, over 500,00 people have signed a Change.org petition titled "Cancel Netflix subscription" as they accused the film of exploiting children, showing underage girls dancing sexually and dressing provocatively. Netflix was also criticized for rating the movie as "only for adult viewers."
Doucouré, talked about the film on ScreenDaily, stating that she was inspired to create the movie after attending an amateur talent show in Paris.
The director added that the girls onstage were dressed in a sexy fashion, as they were wearing short, transparent clothes. She added that the children danced in a sexually suggestive manner.
Doucouré admitted that she was transfixed while watching the performance, as she was shocked because of the nature of the performance, but she could not help admiring it too. She said she wondered if the children knew what they were doing or if their parents pushed them to do it.
According to BBC, Doucouré's idea is something that not everyone can accept and that France is the only one who can take this on, especially since the country banned child beauty pageants for the exact reason that people are condemning the movie.