Netflix Apologises For US Marketing Artwork On 'Cuties' Sexualising Children, While Petition To Remove The Film Exceeds 315,000 Signatures

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Netflix Apologises For US Marketing Artwork On 'Cuties' Sexualising Children, While Petition To Remove The Film Exceeds 315,000 Signatures

Photo from 'Cuties' (2020) Dir: Maïmouna Doucouré © Netflix


Netflix has publicly apologised for its US marketing of new film 'Cuties' amidst claims that it sexually depicted underage girls. The apology came after more than 35,000 people signed a petition demanding the film's removal. At the time of writing, the change.org petition to remove the film (whose caption reads: "This movie/show is disgusting as it sexualizes an ELEVEN year old for the viewing pleasure of pedophiles and also negatively influences our children! There is no need for this kind of content in that age group, especially when sex trafficking and pedophilia are so rampant! There is no excuse, this is dangerous content!") has reached 314,850 signatures.


Netflix said in a statement:


"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."


The film follows an 11-year-old in the United States as she seeks to join a dance crew, and while the film itself is said to challenge the sexualisation of children and the dangers of internet culture, the US marketing team appear to have given an entirely different impression.
Firstly, as the film is targeted at adults, and rated TV-MA (Mature Adult), it seems bizarre that the marketing materials imply that it is a fun film for young children and that the girls are pictured in the way they are.


Secondly, the marketing materials do not address the actual content of the film, and thirdly, Netflix marketing teams in other countries, such as France, have more accurately advertised the film.



According to Daily Caller, Parents Television Council president Tim Winter condemned the movie saying:


"How can [Netflix] possibly reconcile a 'coming of age' film, and one that centres entirely on 11-year-old girls, with a TV-MA rating?"


The movie focuses on how pop-culture, internet-culture and the sexualisation of children has become entrenched in the United States and the lengths young girls are willing to go to while potentially demeaning themselves. It also looks at why parents allow their children to take part in such activities. It is said by those who have watched that the film that the director makes an effort to try to make viewers as uncomfortable as possible when watching it, however, this makes it of heightened interest to those who have a malicious interest in the topic.


Among those to defend the film were actress Tessa Thompson who said in a statement:


"Cuties' is a beautiful film. It gutted me at [Sundance]. It introduces a fresh voice at the helm. She's a French Senegalese Black woman mining her experiences. The film comments on the hyper-sexualization of preadolescent girls. Disappointed to see the current discourse."


Directors of Netflix kids-shows have previously come under fire for their inappropriate online activities. Rose Dommu, a trans-woman and director of Netflix kids show 'The Baby-sitters club', was seen to publicly describe herself on twitter as a 'cum-slut' along with other lewd remarks including the desire to have a teenage 'skater boy'. She has since deleted her twitter account.



The streaming service has also come under criticism for screening films such as 'Desire', which depicts sexual activity in minors and other shows which edge on the boundary of decency.

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Thinking Humanity: Netflix Apologises For US Marketing Artwork On 'Cuties' Sexualising Children, While Petition To Remove The Film Exceeds 315,000 Signatures
Netflix Apologises For US Marketing Artwork On 'Cuties' Sexualising Children, While Petition To Remove The Film Exceeds 315,000 Signatures
Netflix has publicly apologised for its US marketing of new film 'Cuties' amidst claims that it sexually depicted underage girls. The apology came after more than 35,000 people signed a petition demanding the film's removal. At the time of writing, change.org petition to remove the film (whose caption reads: "This movie/show is disgusting as it sexualizes an ELEVEN year old for the viewing pleasure of pedophiles and also negatively influences our children! There is no need for this kind of content in that age group, especially when sex trafficking and pedophilia are so rampant! There is no excuse, this is dangerous content!") has reached 314,850 signatures.
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