Netflix is facing backlash over its recent film, Cuties. #CancelNetflix has been trending on Twitter as soon as the film started garnering more views.
Cuties [Mignonnes] is a French coming-of-age comedy-drama film which debuted on the streaming platform on September 9, 2020. It stars child actors Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi-Azouni, and Esther Gohourou.
While the film won the director, Maïmouna Doucouré, the Jury Award for Directing in the World Cinema Dramatic category at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival; it has now earned the ire of citizens and netizens alike against the over-sexualization of young girls.
Before this, Netflix’s international film poster of Cuties was criticized for the same reason. The platform even issued an apology back then.
The film revolves around an 11-year-old girl who goes against the wishes of her conservative family and much to their displeasure, joins a ‘free-spirited’ twerking dance crew named Cuties. She is torn between her family’s traditions and trying to maintain a modern outlook.
A reporter for the Daily Caller, Mary Margaret Olohan, early yesterday tweeted a video clip that showed a dance scene from the movie. That particular dance sequence displayed seductive moves as performed by the underage cast of the film.
But, on the day of the film’s premiere, Netflix Film Club released an interview with the director of Cuties on YouTube. Titled ‘Why I Made Cuties’, Doucouré shared the inspiration behind the making of the film. In the interview, she said that she was inspired by real-life underage dancers and she further went on to mention that:
“Our girls see that the more a woman is overly sexualized on social media, the more she’s successful. And the children just imitate what they see, trying to achieve the same result without understanding the meaning. … But my question is, isn’t the objectification of a woman’s body that we often see in our Western culture not (sic) another kind of oppression?”
The interview is peppered with scenes from the film, which projects the director’s experience while filming it. While Doucouré maintains that “Cuties is a deeply feminist film with an activist image”, Twitterati and Netflix seem to be divided on that.
You can watch the Cuties director Maïmouna Doucouré’s interview here: