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Why Netflix had to pull down posters of upcoming French movie ‘Cuties’

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Posted (edited)
 

Explained: Why Netflix had to pull down posters of upcoming French movie ‘Cuties’

Cuties, titled Mignonnes in France, is a coming-of-age comedy-drama written and directed by screenwriter and filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré. Why is it controversial?

Written by Rahel Philipose 
Netflix controversy Cuties, cuties french film poster controversy, netflix new releases, Mignonnes movie release
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Cuties, titled Mignonnes in France, is a coming-of-age comedy-drama about an 11-year-old immigrant girl (Photo: Netflix)

A recent poster released by Netflix to promote the French-Senegalese film Cuties (Mignonnes) has sparked mass outrage, with thousands accusing the online streaming platform of sexualising young girls and some even demanding a ban on the award-winning film.

Responding to the criticism, Netflix Thursday issued an apology and announced that it was taking down the controversial art work, which featured young girls wearing “skimpy outfits” and posing in “provocative” ways. However, the site has decided against scrapping the film, which is set to release 

“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,” the streaming giant tweeted on Thursday.

 

 

 

What is Cuties about?

Cuties, titled Mignonnes in France, is a coming-of-age comedy-drama written and directed by screenwriter and filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré. The film is about a 11-year-old immigrant girl, named Amy, who rebels against her conservative Senegalese-Muslim family by joining a dance troupe, known for its risqué and sometimes adult dance moves.

Doucouré bagged the World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award for the film, when it first premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, in January. In an interview with CinEurope, Doucouré — who herself is of Senegalese origin — said she was inspired to make the film when she saw a group of young girls “going up on stage and dancing in a very sensual way while wearing very revealing clothes”.

“This is most of all an uncompromising portrait of an 11-year-old girl plunged in a world that imposes a series of dictates on her,” Doucouré told CinEurope. “It was very important not to judge these girls, but most of all to understand them, to listen to them, to give them a voice, to take into account the complexity of what they’re living through in society, and all of that in parallel with their childhood which is always there, their imaginary, their innocence.

While the film has been released in cinemas in France, it is set to release worldwide on Netflix next month.

Why is Netflix facing backlash for promoting the film?

Social media users slammed Netflix for promoting the upcoming film using a poster, which allegedly sexualised young girls. The streaming giant was criticised for selecting this particular artwork for the film’s release, even though the French version of the film used a less controversial poster — in which four young girls are seen throwing shopping bags in the air.

 

 

The theatrical trailer of the film also irked social media users, some of whom claimed it would encourage paedophiles and predators. A change.org petition, demanding the film to be banned from Netflix, has so far garnered over 143,000 signatures.

“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 reads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Netflix also drew criticism for the synopsis it had uploaded for the film. The summary of the film earlier 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.”

How has Netflix responded to the criticism it is facing for ‘Cuties’?

After facing an onslaught of criticism, Netflix apologised for sharing the poster and claimed that its choice of artwork had misrepresented the film. Speaking to metro.co.uk, a representative for the OTT platform said, “This was not an accurate representation of the film so the image and description has been updated.”

 

 

 

Netflix also changed the film’s synopsis to: “11 year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.”

Has Netflix faced flak for sexualising children before?

In 2018, a US-based parents group and media watchdog wrote a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, urging him to immediately remove the Argentinian film Desire from the streaming platform as it allegedly depicted.

According to the group, Netflix had shown “a reckless disregard for the millions of families that keep your streaming platform alive and viable, and callously placing profits ahead of any sense of corporate responsibility, to potentially engaging in criminal activity.” The film allegedly showed a young girl masturbating.

The same year, the streaming giant was criticised once again by another watchdog group called the National Center on Sexual Exploitation for a show called Baby, which allegedly glamourised sex trafficking of minors.

 
 
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Edited by Cupido
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This controversy has made want to check out the movie just to see what's so controversial about it.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mccuish said:

This controversy has made want to check out the movie just to see what's so controversial about it.

The controversity is about sexualizing children.

Here is another screen-cap from the movie

fathia-youssouf-age-4-1597948333613.jpg

Do you think this is appropriate?

 

(I think my post comes off as really rude.:._.:

That wasn't my intention...)

Edited by Cupido
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It's quite a huge deal here on Twitter, the posters are just beyond creepy.

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18 minutes ago, Cupido said:

The controversity is about sexualizing children.

Here is another screen-cap from the movie

fathia-youssouf-age-4-1597948333613.jpg

Do you think this is appropriate?

I don't think it's appropriate but it does happen, and it's important for people to be exposed to this and observe the kids around them, make sure to properly care for them before they go down this route. The movie doesn't simply revolve around sexualisations, it shows people that even kids as young as 11-12 have a mind of their own and if they are not properly influenced they will learn from all the wrong places. 

At the same time none of this is new, kids have been like this for years, denying it won't change anything. Even when I was in middle school there were plenty of girls in skimpy tshirts, whale tailes and belly piercings showing, and all the kids thought they were the coolest kids around. 

The real problem here is Netflix using that awful poster to promote the movie, it was totally inappropriate and went against the message of the movie.

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1 hour ago, lialea said:

I want everyone who sent the woman Muslim director of this film threats to be held accountable. Netflix's marketing was atrocious and disgusting and literally ruined her life.

https://guccixcucci.tumblr.com/post/627104097936539648/you-can-talk-about-how-frustrating-it-is-that

Is this your blog? 

The director never mentions being muslim herself? She said being influenced by two cultures french and senegalese...well but that's not really the point...

Sorry but it's not the people's fault if netflix Marketing is shit.

If the movie is really about hypersexualizing of children in today's time why not just write so?

But instead they wrote she's exploring her feminity and rebelling against her family by joining provocative dance crew?

 

This sounds just like damage control.

But i still agree with you. Sending death and rape threads is disgusting.

It would be much better if people could get more insight from her directly instead of cornering her...

 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, hlynb93 said:

I don't think it's appropriate but it does happen, and it's important for people to be exposed to this and observe the kids around them, make sure to properly care for them before they go down this route. The movie doesn't simply revolve around sexualisations, it shows people that even kids as young as 11-12 have a mind of their own and if they are not properly influenced they will learn from all the wrong places. 

At the same time none of this is new, kids have been like this for years, denying it won't change anything. Even when I was in middle school there were plenty of girls in skimpy tshirts, whale tailes and belly piercings showing, and all the kids thought they were the coolest kids around. 

The real problem here is Netflix using that awful poster to promote the movie, it was totally inappropriate and went against the message of the movie.

You seem to know a lot about this movie. I guess you have already watched it.

 

"The real problem here is Netflix using that awful poster to promote the movie, it was totally inappropriate and went against the message of the movie."

That's very low even for them. So they did this on purpose to rile people up just to get some cheap PR...

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I made a thread about this movie here before and criticized it. It's clear that Netflix' marketing strategy was disgusting af. However, if what people say about the film is true, I feel like this was terribly overblown, especially by conservative groups. I'm all for art expression, and if what the movie portrays was taken from the director's own experience and if her intentions were never to normalize the sexualization of minors (which, taking her background into consideration, seems more like it), but rather putting into perspective this issue to make a criticism about it, then I think it's valid. Uncomfortable and questionable? Perhaps, but maybe we should wait to see it to make a more rational judgement. 

Edited by _universo
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As everyone mentioned the promotions are absolutely disgusting

I get the movie wants to show the reality of over-sexualizing minors and criticize it but I think we forgot the reason why many teen movies actually have adult actors portraying the "teens", its because they dont want to show minors being sexualized so i'm kinda shookt they allowed such young actors to be portrayed on screen in such a manner?

Also I wonder how the movie ends or whether it actually criticizes the over sexualization or will end up promoting it more

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Cupido said:

Sorry but it's not the people's fault if netflix Marketing is shit.

 

of course it's not? though these people also have the power to actually look things up and do their research before jumping on a bandwagon that probably ruined someone innocent's career. anyone who reads up on the film can have their own opinions on it, but seeing all of these petitions to remove the film and people just flat out being nasty was alarming.

tbh about the petition, either way Netflix doesn't even deserve this film after what they did.

Edited by lialea
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Rei-chama said:

As everyone mentioned the promotions are absolutely disgusting

I get the movie wants to show the reality of over-sexualizing minors and criticize it but I think we forgot the reason why many teen movies actually have adult actors portraying the "teens", its because they dont want to show minors being sexualized so i'm kinda shookt they allowed such young actors to be portrayed on screen in such a manner?

Also I wonder how the movie ends or whether it actually criticizes the over sexualization or will end up promoting it more

I do believe the film is up to interpretation cause I can't speak for everyone, but after reading multiple reviews i don't believe it promotes it

Edited by lialea
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21 hours ago, Cupido said:

You seem to know a lot about this movie. I guess you have already watched it.

 

"The real problem here is Netflix using that awful poster to promote the movie, it was totally inappropriate and went against the message of the movie."

That's very low even for them. So they did this on purpose to rile people up just to get some cheap PR...

 

 

 

Never seen it before, I just watched the trailer. But it's also not a revolutionary concept, there's plenty Italian movies with a similar theme (and older actors).

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Update: movie's out!!

 

 

 

Apparently they changed the parental guide on imbd 

 

Has anyone else seen it?

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