Netflix apologies for inappropriate campaign for Cuties
Staff Reporter | On 23, Aug 2020
Netflix has apologised for what it has called an “inappropriate” marketing campaign for its new film Cuties.
The film – called Mignonnes in French – is the feature debut from director Maïmouwon who picked up a César award in 2017 for her short film Mamans. She went on to to make Cuties, which debuted at Sundance earlier this year, earning her another award – the directing grand jury prize – in the process. Netflix promptly acquired the film for global release.
The movie follows Amy, an 11-year-old Muslim, who finds herself drawn to a rebellious group of other young girls, raising questions of tradition, rebellion and the sexualisation of young women in modern society. Netflix chose to promote this difficult subject with a poster that features its characters in variously tasteless poses taken out of context from scenes in the film – presumably chosen to deliberately spark some controversy.
A change.org petition has since sprung up to remove the film from Netflix, arguing: “This movie/show is disgusting as it sexualizes an 11 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!” 260,000 have signed it so far.
Others who have seen the film have also criticised the impact of Netflix’s artwork: “The film comments on the hyper-sexualization of preadolescent girls. Disappointed to see the current discourse,” tweeted Tessa Thompson.
Netflix has since tweeted: “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 official Netflix logline now reads as follows: “Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.”
The trailer is here:
Cuties is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.