Netflix Accused of "Sexualizing Children" with 'Cuties' Poster
The streaming service has apologized and updated the art, but a petition is still gaining steam
The poster, available above, is a stark departure from that used to promote the film at Sundance earlier this year (where it won the World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award). The film was directed by Maïmouna Doucouré and follows a young Senegalese Muslim girl who joins a dance crew in France.
its interesting to compare the french version of the cuties poster to the american version...— kitti (meow) (@yeetdere) August 20, 2020
like the French version has more "kids having fun!" vibes, while the American version is just fucking.... gross.
I feel like the #Netflix marketing team has a lot to answer for. pic.twitter.com/c8QrX0EY75
Netflix has since updated the promotional materials for the film and issued an apology. "We're sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for this film," a representative told Deadline. "This was not an accurate representation of the film so the image and description has been updated."
In addition to the poster, the dance crew has been criticized for twerking in the film — a dance move that many consider inappropriate for the underage actors.
It is so revealing that the first major @netflix original to centre young Black girls hinges on explicitly sexualising 11 year old children. Whether it's acting or music, a sexualised image is too often the price of mainstream success for Black women & girls. Disgraceful. pic.twitter.com/18ItsgIZLb— Sister Outrider (@ClaireShrugged) August 20, 2020
A petition for Netflix to remove the film is heating up, with tens of thousands of signatures as of press time. "There is no need for this kind of content in that age group, especially when sex trafficking and pedophilia are so rampant!" the petition reads. "There is no excuse, this is dangerous content!"
For now, Cuties is still scheduled to be released on September 9.