The streaming giant Netflix issued an apology for “inappropriately” promoting its forthcoming release Cuties. The film is reportedly directed by French filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré.
The streaming service began promoting the upcoming film ahead of its September 9 release with a poster that sparked a severe backlash. Several users began accusing the Netflix of sexualising preteen girls. Several social media users called out the streamer’s promotional materials for the film. The now-removed controversial poster showed the film’s four middle school-aged stars in outfits baring their legs and midriffs striking suggestive poses.
While some users called the poster “disgusting” others said, “Netflix really messed up here.” Another user found it “upsetting and sick”.
An online petition was also making rounds on the internet demanding speedy exclusion of the French film from the streaming platform. The petition has garnered more than 40,000 signatures at the time of this writing.
The streaming platform Netflix has also admitted that the online campaign created by its PR team was “inappropriate” and has apologized for the same. Furthermore, the service also removed the disputed Cuties imagery, however, there are no plans to scrap the film.
After taking down the inappropriate poster, Netflix Twitter wrote, “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 (sic).”
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.
— Netflix (@netflix) August 20, 2020
Originally titles Mignonnes, Cuties is a teen coming of age drama about Amy, an 11-year-old girl, who decides to join a dance group. Her decision deeply upsets her mother who holds on to traditional values. Earlier this year the film was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award.
According to reports, the film also reportedly tackles hyper-sexualization of pre-adolescent girls.