Award-winning French film Cuties received a major backlash on social media. Earlier, it was just because of the Cuties’ poster. Off-lately, the outcry flamed-up after a short clipping from the movie was released. This backlash did affect Netflix, but it was heavy on the director of the film. The strong reaction increased after the film was released on Netflix. #CancelNetflix and #BoycottNetflix were trending on Twitter.
All about the controversy, Cuties poster
Mainly, the whole controversy started after a bunch of pre-teen girls were featured on the poster. Allegedly, the clothes they wore were inappropriate and promoted the sexualization of young girls. After the film was released, The Parents Council stood by its earlier objections. They claimed that the film normalizes the sexualization of little girls. Then began the whole hashtag fury on social media. Additionally, the film also managed to get its name on a petition on Change.org. It received 598,700 signatures.
Netflix’s reaction to the same
Following the controversy after the poster, Netflix rectified and owned up to its mistake. It immediately issued an apology statement. A Tweet by the company said,
We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork. 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.
Further, after the backlash received post the film’s release, a spokesperson said,
Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. It’s an award winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up – and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.
Effects on the director
Debutant director Maïmouna Doucouré revealed that she received a lot of death threats. Even those who hadn’t watched the film had attacked her brutally. It was an unpleasant and difficult experience for her. Moreover, she admitted that she was not aware of the U.S. artwork before it debuted online. At the time, she was concentrating on the film’s release in France. Following this, director Matthew A. Cherry tweeted that the image shows why directors should be consulted before marketing the films. Doucouré further stated,
I received numerous attacks on my character from people who had not seen the film, who thought I was actually making a film that was apologetic about hypersexualization of children.
Later, she was contacted by the co-CEO of Netflix, Ted Sarandos, who apologized for the same.