The much-talked-about and awaited French film, Cuties was gearing up for its release in Turkey but has been delayed by Netflix after the broadcasting watchdog (RTUK) ordered for its removal citing that it could lead to potential child exploitation as its reason for the delay. The upcoming film received much attention when it released its promotional poster, so much so that even Pakistani actor Hamza Ali Abbasi raised concern with it.
“We are considering RTUK’s demand – and in the meantime have delayed the launch of Cuties in Turkey,” a spokesperson for Netflix said on Monday. The film, which has gained much recognition even before its release highlights the life of an 11-year-old Muslim girl who “starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew”, according to Netflix. The film was all set to be released on September 9.
Just last month, in its first ruling related to a video-on-demand platform, RTUK judged that the film contained exploitation and abuse and “might lead to potential child exploitation behavior patterns emerging”. In the poster for the film, four girls can be seen dressed in bright ensembles and throwing confetti as they walk up a street. Alternatively in the United States however, Netflix chose a slightly different poster which shows the same four girls posing in tight costumes baring their legs and midriffs.
When the poster started to receive negative attention, Netflix apologised for their inappropriate promotion of the film. “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,” Netflix said last week while taking to Twitter, adding that, “We’ve now updated the pictures and description.”
A petition demanding the removal of the film was also making rounds which was signed by tens of thousands of people. The petition described the film as “disgusting” and “for the viewing pleasure of pedophiles”.