Following a swift social media backlash, Netflix has apologized for a poster advertising the movie “Cuties” that featured young girls in scantily clad outfits while striking sexualized poses.
“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for ‘Cuties.’ It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which premiered at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description,” Netflix said in a statement, as reported by Deadline.
“Cuties” tells the story of 11-year-old Amy who joins a dance group called “The Cuties” at school with her friends. The film holds an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes and won the World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award at Sundance this year. Defenders of the film say that Netflix dramatically misrepresented the story’s content with its poster, noting that the original French advertisements were tame by comparison.
“It’s interesting to compare the french version of the cuties poster to the American version… like the French version has more ‘kids having fun!’ vibes, while the American version is just f**king…. gross. I feel like the #Netflix marketing team has a lot to answer for,” tweeted kitti (meow).
its interesting to compare the french version of the cuties poster to the american version…
like the French version has more "kids having fun!" vibes, while the American version is just fucking…. gross.
I feel like the #Netflix marketing team has a lot to answer for. pic.twitter.com/c8QrX0EY75
— kitti (meow) (@yeetdere) August 20, 2020
“The thing about the Netflix campaign for Cuties is how disgustingly sexualized these girls are. Compare the poster and blurb from Netflix versus the ones on IMDb, shit is as different as night and day. Someone should get fired,” tweeted Weekend Warrior.
The thing about the Netflix campaign for Cuties is how disgustingly sexualized these girls are. Compare the poster and blurb from Netflix versus the ones on IMDb, shit is as different as night and day.
Someone should get fired. pic.twitter.com/XrAL7njMBN
— Weekend Warrior (@wwarrior_1) August 20, 2020
When the poster first went viral on social media, liberals and conservatives alike denounced the ad for its overt sexualization of children. As of this writing, a Change.org petition demanding that Netflix remove the movie from its platform has reached over 46,000 signatures and is rapidly gaining steam.
“This movie/show is disgusting as it sexualizes an ELEVEN-year-old for the viewing pleasure of pedophiles and also negatively influences our children! There is no need for this kind of content in that age group, especially when sex trafficking and pedophilia are so rampant! There is no excuse, this is dangerous content!” the petition emphatically states.
According to IndieWire’s Zack Sharf, the Netflix poster dramatically altered the movie’s message, which reportedly is a critique of the cultural pressure to sexualize teenage girls.
“The inappropriate marketing for ‘Cuties’ stands in contrast to the film itself, which has been largely praised by film critics for handling Amy’s coming-of-age experience with sensitivity,” wrote Sharf. “Doucouré uses her ‘Cuties’ storyline to openly criticize the ways in which society puts pressure on young girls to be overtly sexual.”
In her Sundance review of “Cuties,” Kate Erbland wrote of the film’s subject matter: “The girls are preparing to enter a dance contest, and an appearance by their great rivals (the Sweety-Swaggs) lays out what’s to come: The Swaggs are older, more developed, more sexualized, and their moves reflect that. The Cuties certainly don’t understand that even the elder Swaggs are at the mercy of a hyper-sexualized culture and its demands and that there’s something deeply wrong with a teenager taking her top off in the middle of [a] dance video.”
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