Netflix Defends “Cuties” As A “Social Commentary” Against Sexualizing Young Children

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Since premiering on Netflix recently, the French film Cuties has received massive backlash for its depiction of the prepubescent lead actresses in very provocative situations, including twerking, extreme sexual language amongst minors and even close-up shots of their crotches amongst other complaints. Now, the streaming giant has finally issued a statement to denounce any wrongdoing in supporting the film on its popular platform.

Netflix responds Cuties Mignonnes backlash pedophilia sexualization young girls
Image: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images

Speaking with Variety, a spokesperson for Netflix attempted to clear up the overall controversy that even managed to make #CancelNetflix one of Twitter’s top trending topics shortly after the film was released. “Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” said the Netflix spokesperson, further adding, “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.”

Cuties, which was originally released as Mignonnes when it premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, follows an 11-year-old Senegalese girl named Amy (Fathia Youssouf) as she deals with family issues and the pressures of adolescence while also feeling the pressures to fit in with a group of girls in a dance crew aptly named The Cuties, played by Esther Gohourou, Myriam Hamma, Medina El Aidi and Ilanah Cami-Goursolas. While there definitely can be a point made that director Maïmouna Doucouré wanted this to be a wake-up call for young girls feeling the pressure to be “grown” — remember the Evan Rachel Wood-starring film Thirteen from 2003? — the reactions to some of the more vulgar and downright unsettling scenes in Cuties does in fact have some validity.

Watch the trailer for Cuties below, and let us know if you think it should be pulled off Netflix immediately or if viewers should take a second look at the film’s intended message.