Published Sep 15, 2020Last month, Netflix came under fire when they were accused of sexualizing 11-year-old girls in the promotional material for the new film Cuties. Though the service apologized for the gaffe, their subscriptions were cancelled at almost eight times higher than the usual rate when the film premiered this weekend.
According to Variety, research company YipitData crunched the numbers and determined that Netflix's subscriptions spiked to nearly 800 percent of rates reported in August. It was the highest subscription cancellation the network experienced in multiple years.
Netflix is notoriously hush hush about their own numbers, but YipitData uses auxillary info like web traffic, online transactions, email receipts and other reporting to keep track of Netflix trends for their research. As such, they don't have a specific number but the Cuties cancellations were drastic either way.
Cuties was directed by Maïmouna Doucouré and follows the life of an 11-year-old Senegalese girl who joins a "free-spirited dance crew" in Paris to rebel against her strict family. The dance crew participates in sexually suggestive dance moves, including twerking.
While Netflix apologized for their early promotional materials (portrayed above), they've also defended the film, calling it "social commentary."
Further, Doucouré herself has said that she is on the same side as those who are protesting her film. "We need to protect our children. What I want to is to open people's eyes on this issue and try to fix it," she said.
Since the film premiered last week, the backlash has not died down and the hashtag #cancelnetflix has been trending off and on again.