A newly-released preview for the Netflix movie "Cuties" has fueled negative hype around the movie, as it appears to show provocative dance scenes involving underage girls.
Netizens, outraged by the video, urged users to unsubscribe from Netflix over the movie, and denounced the network for "hypersexualizing" children.
The clip included what some consider to be explicit dancing, even though Netflix claimed that the initial movie poster that showed young girls in provocative poses did not reflect the contents of the movie. The network apologized for the promotional poster, saying that the picture and the description have been updated.
However, it did not seem to calm down the critics, who castigated not only Netflix for releasing the movie, but also the parents of the girls who participated in it.
This is actually 10 times worse than I thought it was going to be. I can’t believe this script was written, that parents let their children be in this and that it was even filmed and that Netflix bought it. I’m actually in shock. This is disturbing.— Malynda Hale (@MalyndaHale) September 10, 2020
This is horrifying! All of these parents are disgusting to allow these girls to perform like this.— 6% Miss America⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@SweetSoaps) September 10, 2020
I saw people talking about this on Twitter last week and figured they were all over reacting - now that I've seen this clip, I know they were drastically under stating how sick and twisted Netflix really is.— Fiery But Mostly Peaceful Lance 🇺🇸 (@Lancedude) September 10, 2020
Some, however, claimed that it was a goal of the movie to spark a repellent reaction from viewing the hypersexualization of children and drawing attention to the problem.
This is exactly what the movie freaking denounce, you're litteraly upset about the very thing this movie tries to make you upset about : oversexualised childs— Kalenne (@Arenjys) September 10, 2020
Think, please understand that it is the point of this movie to be disturbing, and going volunteerly too far
I don’t know if you’ve seen it yet, but I still haven’t. I agree that Netflix didn’t handle the US marketing well, but the film is directed by Maïmouna Doucouré, and is supposed to criticize the hypersexualization of young girls. The US Netflix ad obscures that completely though— Oldspeak (@need4nuance) September 10, 2020
Others immediately refuted the suggestions, insisting that one does not need to commit the act they denounce to draw attention to it.
I understand the point that Cuties is supposed to be making, but there's a way to address the issue of sexualization of minors without actually SHOWING the sexualization of minors.— Max Nordau (@MaxNordau) September 10, 2020
Cuties: supposedly critical of the sexualizing of little girls— coffee “women said no” spoons ⚡️ (@coffeespoons3) September 10, 2020
Also Cuties: actively participated in the sexualizing of little girls.
I don’t call attention to FGM or r*pe by committing the acts I’m criticizing.
Some users cancelled their subscription to Netflix, urging others to do the same, launching the hashtag #CancelNetflix and calling on the network to take responsibility for viewer reaction.
Just cancelled my Netflix. This is disgusting!! pic.twitter.com/B4I7pjcFG1— TexasToSpain (@HSWT2020) September 10, 2020
I canceled my subscription. I'm pissed at Netflix for this.— 𝐃𝐨𝐧𝐢 "𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐨𝐧"™ (@DoniTheDon_) September 10, 2020
Do you know how sets work? I do. I’ve directed some of the biggest stars in the world. A director on the Cuties set and a choreographer told 11 year olds to simulate sexual moves repeatedly. What they did should have them charged and registered as sex offenders. #CancelNetflix— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) September 10, 2020
Some noticed that the backlash cause Netflix's market performance to drop.
"Cuties" premiered at the Sundance festival, telling the story of an 11-year-old girl who joins a "free-spirited" dance crew to rebel against her conservative family.