Media outlets have done everything possible to mitigate the fallout from CutiesGate.
The French drama Cuties, which bowed on Netflix Sept. 9, purports to capture how pre-teen girls are sexualized in western culture. To do so, director Maïmouna Doucouré showed pre-teen girls twerking, grinding and more for extended periods.
Many Netflix subscribers were outraged, first by the film’s wildly inappropriate ad campaign and, later, by the film itself.
Reporters mocked that reaction, dubbing Cuties critics as unsophisticated Christian conservatives who didn’t understand artistic expression. The same reporters, mind you, who aren’t upset at Cancel Culture erasing art past or present.
#CancelNetflix trended on social media, with subscribers vowing to end their Netflix subscriptions in protest. Turns out said protest may be leaving a mark.
[To read a full NewsBusters review of Cuties, go here.]
Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall says the blowback to the film could cost Netflix dearly. Cahall’s updated analysis, according to The Hollywood Reporter, suggests the hashtag campaign wasn’t just virtue signaling gone wild.
Netflix could see its third-quarter streaming subscriber growth hit by the controversy around Cuties, Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall wrote in a Tuesday report, cutting his subscriber forecast for the period in half to 2.5 million, with the full impact modelled to come in the U.S. and Canada.
He now forecasts Netflix will lose 2 million U.S. and Canadian subscribers in the quarter ending on Wednesday, compared with his previous estimate for a 500,000 gain, arguing that “this region bears the brunt of the Cuties detractors.”
Cahall calls the controversy “short lived” but clearly significant.
The slide comes at a time when the streaming competition threatens Netflix’s near-monopoly. Amazon Prime offers sizable pressure for Netflix, but so do relative newcomers like Disney Plus, HBO Max, CBS All Access, Peacock and Apple TV.
Netflix’s ubiquitous cultural presence — “Netflix and Chill” — could suffer by more than just the “Cuties” controversy. The platform’s leftward lurch is getting more attention of late. That could potentially alienate Red State customers leery of yet another biased platform.
Former Obama advisor Susan Rice is a Netflix board member, and the former First Family boasts a lucrative content deal with the streaming giant.
Netflix originals rigorously lean to the left, including failed talk shows like Patriot Act and The Break with Michelle Wolf, along with progressive documentaries Knock Down the House, Living Undocumented, Becoming and Miss Americana.
[Cross-posted from Hollywod in Toto.]