Following a worldwide backlash against Netflix’s feature film ‘Cuties’ for its graphic sexual exploitation of underage children, Eduard Habsburg, Hungary’s ambassador to the Vatican, joined those condemning the film on social media.
Though it was only released two days ago, Netflix’s feature film ‘Cuties’ has been the subject of a serious backlash on social media for what has generally been viewed as the sexualization of 11-year-old girls and the hashtag #CancelNetflix was the number one trending hashtag on Twitter yesterday.
The more I learn about the Netflix movie "Cuties" the more horrified I get. In the name of which ideals can anybody defend the sexualizing of 11year old girls (characters & actors)?
— Eduard Habsburg (@EduardHabsburg) September 10, 2020
The descrption of the movie on IMDB was enough for a number of users to call for the producers behind the movie to be prosecuted.
“During one of the many highly sexualized and erotic dance scenes that purposefully exploit and objectify numerous scantily clad under age girls, one of the female child dancers lifts up her cropped top to fully display her bare breast. This is lawfully defined as pedophilia and can be extremely distressing to many viewers,” the IMDB user guide declares. While these guides are submitted by users, they must be approved by IMDB staff.
Read the rating captions for “Cuties” and tell me our culture has not been utterly demoralized and desensitized to accept child sex abuse, child sexploitation and pedophilia.
Now is the time to speak up and fiercely stand against this depravity. We MUST fight this. #Pedoflix pic.twitter.com/fZ6CXx9RkG
— Matriarch (@imatriarch) September 11, 2020
The movie, which Turkey has already ordered removed form Netflix’s website, is the directorial debut of French-Senegalese Maïmouna Doucouré. Netflix has portrayed it as “coming-of-age story” featuring Amy, a Muslim Senegalese immigrant in Paris. While her family is traditionalist, Amy joins a dance group of children her age, with their dance act becoming famous on social media.
Scenes from the movie feature what appear to be 11-year-old girls humping the ground, spanking one another, and participating in highly sexual dance routines, with users posting the video to social media.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Netflix just released the controversial 'Cuties' and it's worse than you could imagine. Make no mistake: Netflix is at the forefront of sexualizing children and normalizing pedophilia! pic.twitter.com/emiMzk8w1z
— ????? ??? (@GhostJim4) September 9, 2020
Other social media users pointed to the number of people involved in the production of the movie, including parents of the children in the film.
The 11 year old girls who were sexually exploited filming Cuties shot those scenes in front of a director, a DP, a gaffer, their parents, a choreographer, a MUA, a hair person, a camera assistant, a wardrobe person, extras and more. Not one adult protected them. #CancelNetflix
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) September 11, 2020
The director herself says that the movie is based on the oversexualization of children that she sees in modern society.
“Our girls see that the more a woman is overly sexualized on social media, the more she is successful,” Doucouré told USA Today. “Children just imitate what they see, trying to achieve the same result without understanding the meaning. It is dangerous.”
However, the visual film portrayal of young girls performing over sexual acts has led to the Parents Television Council to come out against the film, with program director Melissan Hanson say it “normalizes the sexualization of little girls” and desensitizes “millions of viewers at home by asking them to be entertained by it.”
In the wake of the protests Netflix issued an apology saying “we’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties,” but did not remove the movie.
The original promotional poster of the movie showed a group of the girls on stage in revealing outfits, striking provocative poses, as seen in the title image of this piece. Netflix has since removed the poster which caused the original outrage, but since then, several petitions had been launched on Change.org asking the network to remove it. One of these petitions was at the time of writing signed by nearly 400,000 people.