Netflix Has Apologised After An ‘Inappropriate’ Movie Poster Of Young Girls In Cheerleader Outfits Attracted Mass Complaints.
Over the past two days, the streaming platform released initial marketing materials for Cuties, a French drama following an 11-year-old girl who joins a school dance group, with director Maimouna Doucouré explaining that it’s meant to tackle the sexualisation of children.
With 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film saw Doucouré win the World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The movie is soon to drop on Netflix. However, its advertising quickly drew a tidal wave of criticism.
You can watch the trailer for Cuties below:
Recently released in French cinemas with the name Mignonnes, the original poster is far more innocent, with the central group running along the street with shopping bags, cheering. Netflix’s poster, under the name Cuties, struck a much different tone; it hasn’t been confirmed whether the poster was designed in-house or by an agency.
In a statement, the streamin service said:
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.
After making its way onto Twitter, a petition claiming the poster ‘sexualises an 11-year-old for the viewing pleasure of paedophiles’ racked up more than 25,000 signatures in the space of 24 hours. One user wrote: ‘No one wants to see their child dressed and posed like this. WHY IS NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS?’
However, Doucouré earlier explained that the film is intended to discuss an uncomfortable reality: social media pressure sees young girls forced into mimicking sexual imagery.
The director told CineEuropa:
I saw that some very young girls were followed by 400,000 people on social media and I tried to understand why. There were no particular reasons, besides the fact that they had posted sexy or at least revealing pictures: that is what had brought them this ‘fame.’
Today, the sexier and the more objectified a woman is, the more value she has in the eyes of social media. And when you’re 11, you don’t really understand all these mechanisms, but you tend to mimic, to do the same thing as others in order to get a similar result. I think it is urgent that we talk about it, that a debate be had on the subject.
Aim your outrage at the bad marketing, not the movie. As Gavia Baker-Whitelaw wrote on Twitter: ‘There was no controversy when this film screened to festival audiences, but now it’s at the centre of an online controversy… because of the way Netflix framed the poster.’
Cuties arrives on Netflix on September 9.