Netflix apologise for using "inappropriate artwork" for Cuties following backlash for sexualising young girls

21 August 2020, 15:05

Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

Over 250,000 have signed apetition calling for the movie's removal.

Netflix have apologised after being accused of sexualising young girls in its promotion for the French film Cuties (titled Mignonnes in France).

The movie follows the story of 11-year-old Amy, a young girl from a traditional Senegalese Muslim family, who joins a dance troupe. Written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré and starring Fathia Youssouf as Amy, the film won the Directing Jury Award in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition category at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

In an interview with Cineuropa, Doucouré said that she came up with the concept of the movie after being shocked by "a group of young girls aged around 11 years old going up on stage and dancing in a very sensual way while wearing very revealing clothes". She wondered if they were "aware of the image of sexual availability that they were projecting".

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In Netflix’s promotional poster for the film, the kids can be seen wearing crop tops and shorts whilst in various dance poses. In contrast, the French poster shows the girls more covered up, while throwing shopping bags and confetti into the air.

Netflix's original synopsis of the film has also incited criticism, with it reading: "Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions."

Following backlash on social media, Netflix changed the synopsis to: "11-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew."

Over 250,000 have now signed a change.org petition calling for the film to be removed because it "created for the entertainment of adults who are pedophiles".

Netflix has now apologised for using the "inappropriate artwork" on Twitter in a statement.

It read: "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."