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​Netflix Defends 'Cuties' Amid Sexualisation Backlash

​Netflix Defends 'Cuties' Amid Sexualisation Backlash

Streaming service Netflix has defended its decision to air a controversial film, which some parents have argued sexualises young children.

French film Cuties has come up against some harsh criticism by parents, for its sexualisation of young preteen girls and they are now demanding for a boycott of the streaming service.

Watch the film's trailer here:

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The film dropped on Netflix on Wednesday and follows 11-year-old French-Senegalese Amy, who comes from a traditional Muslim upbringing.

When Amy joins a dance group - the 'Cuties', she comes up against the world of modern internet culture, and has to marry her traditional upbringing with modern life.

Though meant as a criticism of 'hyper-sexualised' culture, some parents feel it has gone too far and have called for the film to be taken off the streaming service, even managing to get #CancelNetflix trending on Twitter.

Controversial film 'Cuties' has come up against some criticism (Credit: Netflix)
Controversial film 'Cuties' has come up against some criticism (Credit: Netflix)
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A spokesperson for Netflix has, however, encouraged people to watch the film.

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The spokesperson said: "Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualisation of young children."

"It's an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up - and we'd encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie."

The film's director, Maïmouna Doucouré, won a Directing Award for the recent film at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and also defended the movie in a recent video she shared.

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The film follows 11-year-old Amy as she joins a dance troupe (Credit: Netflix)
The film follows 11-year-old Amy as she joins a dance troupe (Credit: Netflix)

In the clip, she explained that the film was "a deeply feminist film with an activist message."

She added: "Our girls see that the more a woman is sexualised on social media, the more she's successful. And the children just imitate what they see, trying to achieve the same result without understanding the meaning. And yeah, it's dangerous.

"[Amy] believes she can find her freedom through that group of dancers and their hyper-sexualisation. But is that really true freedom? Especially when you are a kid? Of course not. Amy will, at the end, realise she can control her own path."

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We'll reserve judgment on this one.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Film News, Entertainment, TV and Film

Aneira Davies

Aneira Davies is a freelance lifestyle journalist with a particular interest in interiors and craft. She has written for the Evening Standard, Prima, House Beautiful and Good Housekeeping.