Though Netflix apologized for promo material depicting hyper sexualized images of scantily-clad 11 year-old female dancers for its movie Cuties a couple weeks ago, they are now defending the film against critics who say the movie and the platform exploits the child actresses. But that’s strange, because the movie’s treatment of these young ladies is much worse than the promo material ever was.
Variety reported on September 10 that Netflix is “is encouraging critics to watch the movie” and insisting that, beyond its graphic scenes where underage actresses are doing very provocative things for a potential audience of millions of Netflix streamers, it “makes a statement about pressures young girls face in conforming to societal role models of female sexuality.”
Yeah, yeah. We aren’t seeing the moral of the story. Perhaps the outrage generated upon viewing long crotch shots of preteen girls distracted us from the wholesome lesson at heart. Forgive us for being outraged.
A Netflix spokesperson told Variety, “‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children.” Oh that’s smart. It’s pretty wild that in their valiant attempt to protect children being exploited, they managed to exploit these young actresses worse than anyone could have imagined.
IMDB, the internet’s foremost movie and ratings database, described a few salacious scenes from the film and gave a “parental warning”:
Parental Warning: During one of the many highly sexualized & erotic dance scenes that purposefully exploit & objectify numerous scantily clad underage girls, one of the female child dancers lifts up her cropped top to fully display her bare breast. This is lawfully defined as pedophilia and can be extremely distressing to many viewers.
But don’t worry. These girls doing these things on camera are being used to promote awareness. The Netflix spokesperson stated, “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.” Oh yeah, thank you for reminding us Netflix. The spokesperson added, “we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”
Though that seems inconsistent with Netlfix’s August apology for the movie’s pedophilic tendencies. When outrage and a Change.org petition hit the internet over promo images featuring the girls in their skimpy outfits prior to the flick’s debut, Netflix apologized for the artwork. They even called it “inappropriate.”
But now that the film has dropped, not only are these girls on camera in those once-deemed “inappropriate” outfits, they are performing aggressive sexual dances on film as well. But now, it’s somehow worth watching? Perhaps Netflix is just talking out of both sides of its mouth. Perhaps they just needed the backlash and petition off their backs so they could get to the premiere date without pulling the movie.
Shockingly many in the media have been covering for Netflix’s disgusting blunder. Outlets like the Washington Post have dismissed criticism of the movie as just adults acting “stupid” over a provocative movie. Their passive aggressive headline read, “The people freaking out about ‘Cuties’ should try it. They might find a lot to like.” No thanks, pervs.
Rolling Stone referred to it as a “coming-of-age movie caught in the culture wars,” and UK paper The Telegraph really bungled their headline, calling the movie, “a provocative powder keg for an age terrified by child sexuality.” Gosh us and our stigma, right? Wrong. These people must be pretty depraved to not see the problem here.
If you’re disturbed by Netflix and the media’s support of this harmful film, please call Netflix at 888-373-8390 and tell them to cancel Cuties.