Cuties or Mignonnes is a French independent film that has received severe backlash on social media as people claim that the film depicts its central female characters provocatively. The drama amid political outrage was recently announced on Netflix, leading members of the U.S Senate including popular leader Ted Cruz to call on subscribers to #CancelNetflix.
Cuties revolves around the life of four pre-teen girls starring Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi-Azouni, Esther Gohourou, Maïmouna Gueye, and Ilanah Cami-Goursolas. The film sees the protagonists form a dance group named, ‘Cuties’ which emulates music videos where women twerk and dance ‘suggestively.’ The critics in favour of boycott have claimed that the film seeks to hyper sexualise minor girls, however, the director and Netflix have both countered the allegation stating that the film is a social commentary against it. The makers have said that the film is an awareness venture which shows the audience that children replicate what they observe.
The film was acquired by Netflix at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year where it was reviewed positively, it also won an award in the category of direction. The film’s production and distribution in the United States are now being investigated by the Department of Justice to ensure that it does not violate federal laws of the country which ban the sale and production of child pornography.
So far, over 640,000 people have signed the petition on Change.org calling for users to cancel their Netflix subscriptions over the film, claiming that the online stream giant is a party to the issue. However, Netflix has responded to the allegations stating that the film is a social commentary and everyone who cares about understanding the difficulties of navigating social media is encouraged to watch the film.