UNITED STATES—French Sundance award wining film, “Cuties” has sparked national controversy since it’s debut in America on Sept. 9. The film which follows the coming of age of an 11 year old girl who joins a twerking dance team has led to a petition not only to remove the film but cancel Netflix all together.
#Cancelnetflix has been circulating all over twitter since the films national debut. The petition to cancel Netflix was created three weeks ago by Kelsi Swift when Netflix released the coming soon poster. Swift told The SF News that she was enraged and disturbed after seeing the poster and trailer. Swift reached out to Netflix and they responded saying that they support the creative arts of those who make the movies and different cultures.
Netflix eventually removed the poster and apologized in a statement to Variety. “It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which premiered at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.”
Cuties, originally titled “Mignnonese”, was written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré. Doucouré explains in an interview with the Netflix Film Club, that the story is about a young girl who finds herself stuck between two models of femininity. One represents her mother’s traditional Muslim Senegalese origins, the other is with a young group of hyper-sexualized dancers who call themselves cuties.
Doucouré explains in the interview that she got the idea for Cuties at a gathering in Paris when a very young group of dancers came on stage and danced similarly to what she emulated in Cuties.
“I decided to spend the next year and a half doing research. I met with hundreds of pre-teens who told me their stories. I needed to know how they felt about their own femininity in today’s society.”
The films rating MA for mature audiences has added to the controversy. Swift pointed out to The SF News “The fact it is rated MA for mature audiences shows me that it was not meant to teach children and teens that it is wrong to allow media and peer pressure to be your guide in life.”
The movie’s intended audience is apparently for adults which indeed complicates matters further.
“I hope that people can become 11 year olds during an hour and a half of Cuties in our world,” Doucouré said in her interview with Netflix.
“My film Cuties is a mirror of today’s society, a mirror that is sometimes difficult to look into and accept but still so true. We can’t blame our children for what we value in our society,” Doucouré added.