Netflix film “Cuties” sparks controversy


Gigi Fox, Web Editor

The Netflix movie “Cuties” aired in September and ever since then, Netflix has received a lot of backlash for supporting a controversial movie. The basis of the movie is that Amy, an eleven year old girl who is Senegalese Muslim, befriends a group of child dancers. Amy begins to be influenced by social media and her friends, dancing and dressing provocatively. 

Many people are disturbed by the way these children are portrayed, including myself, but this movie is shedding light on real issues. Kids are growing up in a Kim Kardashian-like world and they see on social media what people like and what type of clothes and dances get attention. 

In “Cuties” the girls are twerking and doing moves from scandalous music videos. These are very mature themes for impressionable children, but that is the reality of this day and age. Kids see everything online and at such a young age, it can be hard to understand how most things online are meant for a more mature audience, not 11 year old kids.

 The director of “Cuties” said in an interview with the Washington Post, “We, as adults, have not given children the tools to grow up healthy in our society. I wanted to open people’s eyes to what’s truly happening in schools and on social media, forcing them to confront images of young girls made up, dressed up and dancing suggestively to imitate their favorite pop icon,” said director Maïmouna Doucouré, “I wanted adults to spend 96 minutes seeing the world through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl, as she lives 24 hours a day. These scenes can be hard to watch but are no less true as a result.”

A comment on the movie review site Common Sense Media says,I felt compelled to cancel Netflix and create a Common Sense Media account just to warn parents and teens of [what] this film is. I had heard rumors of the film and my husband told me to preview it by myself so we could decide whether it warranted the Netflix boycott. It absolutely did.” The comment continues on and says, “It was disgusting, enough is enough. I had to fast forward through scenes because they were so disturbing. I wouldn’t allow either of my teens to watch this. It made me want to protect all children. It made me realize just how low our society has become in allowing this film to be portrayed as anything other than being morally wrong. We cancelled Netflix.”

This comment is blaming Netflix for portraying these kids in such a sexual way, but in reality, this movie is showing people who are not aware of the sexualization of young girls what is actually happening in society. 

“This movie should be banned as child pornography and the creator’s should be arrested!! I cancelled my Netflix account due to the fact that they condone this sickening behavior and exploitation of children. #SaveOurChildren,” said another Common Sense Media review comment.

It is your right to cancel your own Netflix subscription if you so chose, but doing so and bashing Netflix for a movie that doesn’t have any explicit nudity and call it child pornography is taking it to the extreme. I agree that some parts are uncomfortable, but if you leave yourself blind to what is happening, it isn’t going to fix the problem that you are trying to solve by canceling a subscription. 

Netflix said in an interview with USA Today “ ‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children … and we stand by the film.”

In “Cuties”, the basis of the film is how young girls are being sexualized based on the dancing and the clothing being worn. As Netflix says it is a social commentary, Netflix isn’t the one telling your kids to dress provocatively, the movie is simply showing that this is one way children are acting in modern society. 

“I really liked it [“Cuties”] because it’s really neutral, like very normal to the life I live now and what I see. It’s very true to society because most young girls grow up just like that,” said sophomore Alyssa Capps, “I think that it shouldn’t be banned, yes it was wrong but it is on the basis of how real life happens and what young girls go through.”