Cuties Controversy: Netflix Account Cancellation Surge Was Short-Lived


The firestorm over controversial Netflix movie “Cuties,” which led to an enormous spike in U.S. buyer cancellations following its debut earlier this month, burned out after a number of days, in keeping with new information.

“Cuties” tells the story of an 11-year-old Senegalese woman dwelling in Paris who struggles to seek out her id, torn between her household’s Muslim traditions and her peer group’s makes an attempt to emulate the sexualized personae of girls as portrayed in Western tradition and on social media. The movie consists of scenes of the protagonist, Amy, performing extremely sexualized dance routines with the Cuties dance crew and reveals the underage characters in different grownup conditions — and, predictably, a backlash ensued. That precipitated the hashtag “#CancelNetflix” to development on Twitter following its Sept. 9 launch worldwide on the streaming service.

However whereas there was a brief escalation in cancellations, the Netflix churn fee within the U.S. died down inside every week after the social-media uproar, in keeping with analysis agency 7Park Information. The information signifies the general impression on the streamer’s subscriber base has not been materials.

Within the days following Netflix’s launch of “Cuties,” account cancellations hit a peak of about 5 occasions the churn fee of Jan. 1, 2019, a 7Park Information evaluation discovered. After a couple of week (by Sept. 18) the cancellations had subsided to earlier ranges, per 7Park. As beforehand reported, information from analysis agency YipitData confirmed that Netflix cancellations on Sept. 12 soared to about eight occasions increased than the typical each day fee in August 2020 (which was a special baseline than 7Park used).

Netflix U.S. Cancellation Traits (Jan. 2019-Sept. 2020)


Supply: 7Park Information

The Netflix cancellations within the U.S. have been concentrated in central and southern elements of the nation (and likewise overindexed in Maine and Alaska), in keeping with 7Park Information.

Netflix Cancellation Index by U.S. State (Sept. 10-13)


Netflix Cuties cancellations US map

Supply: 7Park Information

New York-based 7Park Information tracks shopper conduct throughout a number of business sectors, together with streaming providers. To measure exercise amongst Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu subscribers, the analysis agency makes use of a census-balanced panel of 15,000-25,000 U.S. households watching by way of internet-connected TV (both sensible TVs or gadgets similar to Roku).

Netflix has defended “Cuties,” written and directed by French filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré, calling it a “highly effective story.” The manufacturing had a counselor on set and the venture had acquired approval from the French authorities’s child-protection authorities, as famous by the Washington Put up.

“‘Cuties’ is a social commentary towards the sexualization of younger youngsters,” an organization rep mentioned in an announcement earlier this month. “It’s an award-winning movie and a strong story concerning the stress younger women face on social media and from society extra usually rising up — and we’d encourage anybody who cares about these essential points to observe the film.”

Doucouré has repeatedly mentioned that the aim of her movie — fairly the alternative of selling a view of kids as sexual topics — is to point out the world by the eyes of younger women and shine a highlight on the issue of social media encouraging youngsters to imagine hyper-sexualized identities.

“We have to defend our youngsters. What I wish to [do] is to open folks’s eyes on this situation and attempt to repair it,” Doucouré mentioned, talking at a Sept. 14 occasion hosted by UniFrance. “Crucial [thing] is to observe the movie and perceive we’ve got the identical struggle.”

“Cuties” raised hackles a month earlier than it was even launched over Netflix’s promotional poster displaying the younger dancers in provocative poses. The corporate apologized for the “inappropriate art work” and mentioned it was not consultant of the movie. “The controversy began with that art work,” Doucouré mentioned on the UniFrance panel.

On Netflix, the film is rated “TV-MA” (for mature audiences solely). The movie’s critics have included Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), each of whom labeled the movie “little one porn.” (Cruz additionally urged the Justice Division to analyze Netflix.) As well as, the movie has drawn condemnation from teams together with the Dad and mom Tv Council, the Nationwide Heart on Sexual Exploitation, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“Cuties” (authentic title: “Mignonnes”) premiered on the 2019 Sundance Movie Pageant, the place Doucouré received the world cinema dramatic directing award. Netflix purchased worldwide rights (excluding France) to “Cuties” previous to its Sundance screening.


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