How Do They Get Away with This? Netflix To Release Movie About 11-Year-Olds Twerking
With the increasing sexualization of children in pop culture and the exposure given to them, it is no surprise that Netflix is contributing to the issue.
The latest movie to draw harsh criticism for this reason is “Cuties,” a French film due to be released Sept. 9 on Netflix.
The streaming platform already has released some questionable material that glorifies kidnapping and rape and mocks religious figures.
The now-deleted synopsis for “Cuties” read, “Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions.”
It was changed to: “Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.”
The trailer tells the viewer enough to know that this is far from a family-friendly movie — it displays tweens twerking in skimpy outfits and posing suggestively, and it generally makes a point of putting down traditional values.
The movie has been rated NC-17, which is “the US’s strictest movie rating that bans anyone under the age of 18 from watching it,” according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
The rating shows this movie isn’t meant for young girls to watch. The underage actresses themselves can’t even watch the movie because of the adult audience rating.
The film is clearly targeted toward older audiences who want to watch pre-teens dance scandalously in provocative clothing — which sounds similar to pedophilia.
Twitter users blasted Netflix over the film:
When you hear excuses offered for the “Cuties” movie, keep in mind that the official synopsis of the film says that an 11-year-old girl “ignites awareness of her burgeoning femininity” through “sensual dancing” and “twerking her way to stardom”
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) August 21, 2020
So the pre-teen twerking show “Cuties” on Netflix… that’s for pedophiles, right?
Because what normal human would want to watch that?
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) August 20, 2020
I’ve been told that we can’t judge “Cuties” until we’ve seen it. No. What don’t you understand here? Normal, non-creepy adults have no interest in sitting down for two hours to watch a film about 11 year olds twerking. This is absolutely a “judge the book by its cover” situation.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) August 21, 2020
Cardi B’s song WAP is porn. The show “Cuties” on Netflix is grooming for the acceptance of pedophilia.
You better get your kids in church and off the internet.
— Abby Johnson (@AbbyJohnson) August 22, 2020
Netflix responded to the backlash in a tweet, saying: “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.”
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 (@netflix) August 20, 2020
Many people were quick to point out that the Sundance Film festival — which gave “Cuties” an award for directing — was co-founded by Sterling Van Wagenen, who, according to The Associated Press, has pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a child.
Just so we’re like, all in the same page…
The guy who gave the pedofile movie Cuties an award at Sundance was charged with molesting a 10 year old girl, multiple times.
But @netflix is going to show it anyways. ??♀️
— Nicole Arbour (@NicoleArbour) August 21, 2020
“Cuties” is director Maïmouna Doucouré’s debut feature, according to Forbes. She told Screen Daily in January that she got the idea for the film after visiting an amateur talent show.
“Today, the sexier and the more objectified a woman is, the more value she has in the eyes of social media. And when you’re 11, you don’t really understand all these mechanisms, but you tend to mimic, to do the same thing as others in order to get a similar result,” she added to Cineuropa this month.
“I think it is urgent that we talk about it, that a debate be had on the subject.”
And a debate we do have, but not in the way Doucouré probably expected.
Many petitions have been made demanding that Netflix not stream the movie, and one had more than 239,000 signatures as of Saturday.
While this probably isn’t the last we’ve seen of the entertainment industry pushing the envelope on pedophilia, it’s good to know people are recognizing the explicit content for what it is and condemning it.
As of Saturday, the film’s trailer on YouTube had 21,000 likes, 685,000 dislikes and thousands of negative comments.
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