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Netflix Apologizes For The Promotional Material For The Upcoming Film 'Cuties'

Netflix has been under some serious scrutiny within the last 24 hours due to a film titled “Cuties”, originally named “Migonnes”, that many felt ‘sexualized’ young girls.

The film follows the story of an 11-year-old girl who joins a dance crew after rebelling against her family. The plot description itself seems harmless but many found an issue with the poster for the film.

Other posters for the film depict young girls with their midsections showing, fingers in their mouth, arched backs and posing in other sexualized manners.

Many people took to social media to express their disgust for the promotion of the material. A petition dedicated to getting Netflix to delete the film received more than 49,000 signatures. The backlash resulted in Netflix issuing an apology on Thursday via Twitter.

“We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.”

Despite Netflix’s apology and the public’s opinion, the film is still expected to debut Sept.9 on the streaming platform.

Twitter users took to the comments section of the apology tweet to state that the streaming platform should cancel the film because it still promotes the sexualization of minors. Others emphasized that changing the promotional material will not change the content of the film. Noting that the original description read "Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions."

There were some people that felt that calls to cancel “Cuties” are irrational seeing as there are several dance-competition shows where young girls wear similar clothing to that in the promotional material of “Cuties”.

The film is said to be partly based on the childhood experiences of the director, Maïmouna Doucuré, combined with the experiences of today’s youth.

In an interview with Cineuropa, Doucuré explains that the film was created in an effort not to judge young girls that have similar stories to the main character, Amy, but “to understand them, to listen to them, to give them a voice, to take into account the complexity of what they’re living through in society, and all of that in parallel with their childhood which is always there, their imaginary, their innocence.”

Netflix has recently received a lot of good press for its promotion of Black-owned and produced content but will this “Cuties” conundrum undo it all?

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