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Netflix Defends Cuties as Social Commentary on Sexualization of Girls

Netflix, amid a backlash over the sexualized portrayal of kids in lately launched drama “Cuties,” is encouraging critics to observe the film — which it says makes an announcement about pressures younger ladies face in conforming to societal function fashions of feminine sexuality.

The film, which is rated “TV-MA” for language, facilities on Amy, an 11-year-old Senegalese lady residing in Paris who joins a “free-spirited dance clique” (referred to as “the Cuties”) to insurgent in opposition to what she perceives as her household’s oppressive mores.

After its Sept. 9 launch on Netflix, “Cuties” has elicited outrage for displaying the women performing extremely sexualized dance routines and depicting the characters in different sexual conditions. The backlash has included an internet petition calling on Netflix prospects to cancel their subscription over “Cuties” and different “disturbing” content material about children on the service. On Twitter, “#CancelNetflix” was a top-trending matter Thursday in response to “Cuties.”

“‘Cuties’ is a social commentary in opposition to the sexualization of younger kids,” a Netflix spokesperson mentioned in an announcement to Selection. “It’s an award-winning movie and a strong story concerning the stress younger ladies face on social media and from society extra usually rising up — and we’d encourage anybody who cares about these necessary points to observe the film.”

“Cuties” (“Mignonnes”) premiered on the 2019 Sundance Movie Pageant, the place writer-director Maïmouna Doucouré received the world cinema dramatic directing award.

In a six-minute phase accompanying the movie on Netflix, Doucouré says that in performing analysis for the movie — her function directorial debut — she met with lots of of pre-teens to know how they perceived their femininity in at the moment’s society.

“Our ladies see that the extra a lady is sexualized on social media, the extra she’s profitable,” she says in “Why I Made Cuties.” “And yeah, it’s harmful.”

Amy, the movie’s protagonist, is “navigating between two fashions of femininity,” Doucouré says — one represented by her Muslim mom’s conventional beliefs, and the opposite by the Cuties dance squad. Amy believes she will “discover her freedom via that group of dancers and their hyper-sexualization. However is that basically true freedom? Particularly whenever you’re a child? After all not.” Doucouré, born and raised in Paris in a Senegalese household, provides, “I put my coronary heart into this movie as a result of that is my story.”

In keeping with the conservative American advocacy group the Dad and mom Tv Council, which mentioned it reviewed the movie, “Cuties” is objectionable as a result of of its overt sexualization of the kid characters. That, the PTC alleged, eclipses its implicit message concerning the risks of social media and the way sexual photos in standard tradition negatively have an effect on children.

The PTC says that along with the women’ sexualized dance routines and costumes, one scene exhibits Amy knocking down her underwear to {photograph} her genitals to put up on-line. In one other scene, she tries to seduce a person (who’s her cousin) to get out of bother for stealing his cell phone.

“Though there’s a hazard that little ladies will probably be drawn to this movie, the far better threat is the best way this movie normalizes the sexualization of little ladies,” PTC program director Melissa Henson mentioned in an announcement Thursday, including that Netflix is “desensitizing tens of millions of viewers at house by asking them to be entertained by it.”

The newest backlash comes after Netflix launched a promotional poster for “Cuties” in August depicting its younger solid members in provocative poses. The corporate apologized for the “inappropriate paintings,” and mentioned it was not consultant of the movie.

Netflix did itself a disservice with the “deceptive” advertising and marketing, which stirred up a right-wing marketing campaign in opposition to the film, New Yorker contributor Richard Brody wrote of the movie.

“The topic of ‘Cuties’ isn’t twerking; it’s kids, particularly poor and nonwhite kids, who’re disadvantaged of the sources — the training, the emotional help, the open household dialogue — to place sexualized media and popular culture into perspective,” he wrote. The movie, based on Brody, tells the story of “a lady’s outrage at, and defiance of, a patriarchal order.”

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