Netflix has issued an apology after a petition, signed by 49,000 people, demanded the removal of a controversial film, which sexualises young girls.
‘Cuties’ is an award-winning French film, which focuses on an 11-year-old girl, Amy, who rebels against her family.
The film sparked controversy and fierce backlash when promotional materials were released earlier this week.
Amy is a Senegalese Muslim with extremely conservative parents. She “becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew” and “starts to explore her femininity,” according to the original plot summary.
The film premiered as Mignonnes at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, where it won a jury award for directing.
The poster for the movie features four pre-teen stars posing in suggestive poses, showing their midriffs.
The change.org petition, which gather momentum on social media and swiftly gathered thousands of signatures criticised the movie as “disgusting”, “disgraceful”, “upsetting” and “sick”. The petition states the movie, “was created for the entertainment of adults who are paedophiles. Please sign the petition,” it continued, “to protect our children from exploitation in movies.”
The petition gathered 25,000 signatures within 24 hours, and grew to a total of over 49,000. Netflix has apologised for the promotional material; however, the film is still set to debut around the globe on September 9th.
Cuties has a TV-MA rating from Netflix (which means its specifically designed for audiences over 17). In the statement on Thursday, Netflix said:
“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes [original name of movie as shown at Sundance]/Cuties. It was not okay, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.”
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Corrine Barraclough has a journalism career spanning 20 years, including senior positions at national magazines in London, New York & Sydney. She embraced the whirlwind of celebrity and entertainment journalism and the heady lifestyle that went with it before walking away from it all to live on the Gold Coast and pursue a balanced life.
The Corrine Barraclough Show discusses family law, its impact on mental health and the damage of the gender-bias in mainstream media.