Netflix issued a non-apology Thursday after being met with massive backlash on social media for a new film soon to be hitting their platform, apologizing for the promotional material for the film, but not for the film itself.
Much of the well-deserved outrage and angst comes from the poster for the film, featured, (which we’ve pixelated) which depicts pre-teen girls wearing revealing cheerleading outfits and posting provocatively in a sexual manner. The rest, from the summary of the film, which makes the poster all the worse.
After sustained calls that this film was a pedophile’s dream rental given it sexualizes young girls, Netflix updated the film’s summary to read “Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew” but have resisted calls to pull the movie, arguing that ‘It won an award at Sundance.”
Unlike many shows where adults will play teens, the film features an real-life 11-year-old actress, with the rest of the main cast being played pre-teen and young teenss. The film has been given a Mature rating (TV-MA) for language and depictions of nudity.
In a statement made to Deadline, Netflix gave a mea-culpa for the artwork but falsely claimed it bore no resemblance to the content of the film.
“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.”
The only problem is that it is EXACTLY representative of the film. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an 82% rating and the film description reads:
One reviewer, Aramide Tinubu , describes part of the film in her review
Cuties is difficult to watch. As Amy and her friends shake, grind and gyrate in the camera, wearing belly tops and booty shorts, Doucouré forces her audience to sit in a paralyzing state of fear. It is deeply uncomfortable to watch prepubescent girls behave in this manner.
Another reviwer, Alex Heeney, writes
At the same time, the girls wear tight clothing, often with low necks and bare midriffs, and perform increasingly sexually suggestive choreography. Despite many closeups of the girls’ bottoms as they dance, Doucouré avoids any kind of leering gaze, instead celebrating the girls’ rhythmic athleticism with a weary eye to how problematic this could be.
It is apparent that Netflix is sorry the promotional material for the film is about twerking and is sexualizing, but not for the fact that content of the film itself prominently features the 11-year-olds twerking and being sexualized, which they seemingly deny anyway.
One account member reached out to the customer service line of the streaming giant and was met with a representative who likewise defended the film, writing that they support “creative freedom.”
As a result, a slew of Netflix accounts have been canceled by members, disgusted, and outraged at the film’s inclusion into their library.
Editor’s note. An earlier version of this article showed the poster in its entirety. After being prompted by a concerned reader, and considering the option in light of God’s word and the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we have removed the original and uploaded a pixelated copy. We are deeply appreciative of all feedback.
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