Why Netflix’s Cuties Is Sparking Intense Backlash
Netflix is learning the hard way that something as simple as a poster can make or break a film’s success.
The streaming platform stirred controversy after a poster for director Maïmouna Doucoure‘s French indie film Cuties, also known as Mignonnes in French, was criticized for “hyper-sexualizing” its four lead actresses.
In the original promotional poster, which Netflix has since scrubbed, the pre-teens who star in the movie wear revealing ensembles and stand in suggestive poses.
The movie, written and directed by Doucoure, follows Amy, a French-Senegalese pre-teen, who befriends three other girls in her neighborhood. Together, the girls form a dance group and try to gain a following on social media, unbeknownst to Amy’s traditional Muslim family.
Additionally, Netflix was criticized for the vast differences between the French and American descriptions of the movie. According to Vulture, “The now-deleted description says Amy ‘becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew’ and that, in an attempt to join them, she ‘starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions.’”
Those who were able to view the movie prior to its Sept. 9 release date noted the inaccuracies and called on Netflix to change it accordingly.
Actress Tessa Thompson was one such individual, who tweeted, “Disappointed to see how it was positioned in terms of marketing. I understand the response of everybody. But it doesn’t speak to the film I saw.”