Netflix was our saving grace and saw us through the heavy lockdown period. From the informative documentaries to the funny rom-coms to the crime thrillers, Netflix was really our shoulder to cry on when we were confined to our homes. Just recently, the portal revealed both a trailer and a poster for a new film that is going to be available on their platform this September and well, the content of the film has brought on some negative feedback.
The upcoming film is titled, Cuties, and is a comedy drama which has been written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré; marking her directorial debut. The film is about an 11-year-old girl, Amy, who originally hails from Senegal and grows up in a working-class area of Paris. She rebels against her conservative family and “becomes aware of her burgeoning sexuality,” according to the film’s description.
“Things turn swiftly as Amy is fascinated by her disobedient neighbour Angelica’s twerking clique called Cuties,” it reads further. An image of four young girls posing in skin tight outfits and showing off their legs and midriffs was chosen by the platform to promote the film. The release of the poster however, did not go down well with thousands of Netflix users. Tens of thousands of people signed a petition demanding the removal of the film altogether from the platform.
It was described by some as’disgusting’ and ‘for the viewing pleasure of paedophiles’. Netflix has since apologised for the promotional poster and said they’d replace it. “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 said while taking to Twitter last week.
The promotional poster also came to the attention of Pakistani actor, Hamza Ali Abbasi, who usually has more than a word or two to say about important topics. Taking to Twitter, he spoke out against the platform. “It’s horrifying to see a show in the mainstream blatantly sexualising 11-year-old kids. If this show is still there by the next month, I am canceling my Netflix subscription and so should you.” said the Alif actor.
Its horrifying to see a show in the mainstream blatantly sexualising 11 yr old kids. If this show is still there by next month..i am canceling my Netflix subscription and so should you.
— Hamza Ali Abbasi (@iamhamzaabbasi) August 31, 2020
The Alif actor also shared the petition, calling on all his followers to sign it and further, called for the cancellation of the show. “Cancel Cuties on Netflix! – Sign the Petition!” he added.
In response, Netflix had reportedly said, “We understand that not all stories may appeal to all our viewers, which is why we always invest in a diverse range of content from all over the world. We also provide ratings, synopsis, trailers and controls to help our members make the right viewing choices for themselves and their families.”