Netflix issues apology after thousands sign petition to remove film


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Netflix issues apology after thousands sign petition to remove film

US streaming service Netflix issued an apology for its audience after thousands of people came together and signed a petition for the removal of a French teen coming-of-age comedy-drama film ‘Cuties.’ The film which launched earlier this week was called out for its content where people called it inappropriate and said that it sexualized children. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2020 and is written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré. The film also won a jury award for its direction at the festival. It revolves around the story of a 11-year-old traditional Senegalese Muslim girl who fights her family and gets an escape in a “free-spirited dance crew.” 

The official Twitter handle of Netflix tweeted the apology that read, “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.”

Have a look:

Originally titled ‘Mignonnes,’ the project features Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi-Azouni and Maïmouna Gueye in lead roles. As per a BBC report, a petition claiming it “sexualizes an 11-year-old for the viewing pleasure of pedophiles” attracted 25,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.

A user tweeted, “It sickens me that Netflix is using its global platform to circumvent child pornography laws by airing Cuties, a movie about an 11-year old girl twerking her way to stardom. Pubescent girls dancing sensually can only lead to paedophilia and Netflix needs to be strongly censured.”

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Netflix has moved quickly to take down the offending artwork and already has replaced it; it wouldn’t confirm whether the poster was made in-house or by an agency.

In a recent interview with Cineuropa, director Maïmouna Doucouré spoke about the inspiration behind the film and said, “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. 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.”

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Sagar Biswas

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