After people began to call for the French film known as Cuties to be removed from Netflix’s streaming platform, the service—as well as the movie’s director—defended the movie. To this day, the movie some think sexualizes young girls remains live and available for Netflix customers to watch.
As a result, those upset over the movie are taking legal action to have the movie banned. According to NBC News, on September 23, a grand jury indictment for promotion of lewd visual material depicting a child was filed in Tyler County, Texas.
Tyler County, Texas Files an Indictment Against Netflix Over the Movie Cuties
Texas state representative, Republic Matt Schaefer first tweeted about the indictment on October 6. The indictment further claims that the movie “has no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value,” something director Maïmouna Doucouré would disagree with.
As Mamas Uncut previously reported, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Doucouré said she made the coming-of-age film to raise awareness around how young girls are treated, calling it a “real issue.”
“It’s because I saw so many things and so many issues around me lived by young girls, that I decided to make this film and sound an alarm and say, ‘We need to protect our children.’ It’s bold, it’s feminist, but it’s so important and necessary to create debate and try to find solutions, for me as an artist, for politicians and parents.”
And Netflix agreed, saying the movie is “a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. 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.”
In a statement given to NBC News following the indictment, Netflix doubled down on the idea that Cuties should be looked at as social commentary against the sexualization of young children, adding that the charge against the company “is without merit and we stand by the film.”
Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah released a statement Monday saying that he spoke to Netflix employees on the phone and was “unsatisfied” with the company’s response to his questions. He went on to say, “What I cannot understand, however, is how Netflix can condemn the conduct depicted in ‘Cuties,’ while celebrating the film and filmmakers who asked several underage girls to stand in front of a camera and engage in that same ‘inappropriate, shameful’ conduct for all the world to see.”
The only time Netflix ever apologized for the film was when it first began to promote the movie that won at Sundance. Initially, Cuties was promoted using a poster that showed the young actresses of the film posing in crop tops. The promotional post was later changed to the actress cheerfully celebrating in street clothes while holding shopping bags.
“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for ‘Cuties.’ It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film, which premiered at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description,” a spokesperson for the streaming service initially told Deadline in response to the backlash.
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