Contrary to the speculations that the movie focuses on the sexualization of young children, Netflix is all out to defend the controversial film.
The film,“Cuties” centers on Amy, an 11-year-old girl who joins a group of dancers named “The Cuties” at school and rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity, to the dismay of her mother and her values.
The film was premiered at the World Cinema Dramatic Competition sector of 2020 Sundance Film Festival and won the Directing Jury Award praising the script of the film.
However, the film has earned criticism from the public due to the highly sexually suggestive behaviour of the pre-adolescent characters.
The backlash came in August after Netflix debuted the film’s artwork which depicted four adolescent girls wearing revealing cheerleading outfits and posing provocatively. The original tagline for the film said:
“Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions.”
The film’s director Maïmouna Doucouré said;
“I received numerous attacks on my character from people who had not seen the film, who thought I was actually making a film that was apologetic about hyper-sexualiation of children,”
“I also received numerous death threats.”
An online petition had called on Netflix customers to cancel their subscription over “Cuties” and other “disturbing” content has been signed by over 600, 000 people.
The streaming giant has however encouraged critics to watch the film. In a statement issued, a Netflix spokesperson said that;
“‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children.
“It’s an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up — and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”