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Netflix's recently released Cuties film—which hyper-sexualizes 11-year-old children twerking in a dance crew—is facing a surge of subscription cancellations by disgusted viewers.
A clip of the movie is circulating on social media, depicting the pre-teens in booty shorts and crop tops while striking provocative poses on their hands and knees. An adult audience watches as the young girls simulate sexual acts on stage and on camera. This trailer is just a further glimpse into the film's plot, but outraged individuals have taken to Twitter to express their outrage and document their actions.
"I really hate to put this shit on my timeline but my f**king God," The Daily Caller's Greg Price tweeted. "Adults made this movie with all the choreography. It won awards at Sundance. @netflix execs watched it and concluded it was acceptable to put on their platform. Just absolutely disgusting in every way."
Then Price shared a screenshot of his Netflix account page confirming that he canceled his membership. "I am literally about to throw up. God help us."
Ian Miles Cheong advised the same to his followers. "Do not support the sexualization of children."
"Netflix is comfortable with this. Plenty of people will defend it. This is where our culture is at," The Daily Caller's Mary Margaret Olohan wrote.
OANN's Jack Posobiec tweeted "Cancel Netflix" while revealing that the movie platform had blocked him.
Preceding the film's debut on Netflix, members of the public preemptively pushed to cancel the movie's launch altogether on the streaming platform.
"If this show is still there by next month..i am canceling my Netflix subscription and so should you," a Muslim actor tweeted, promoting a Change.org petition with almost 125,000 boycott signatures to date.
Another has a $2 donation option for signatories to fund the removal, pointing out that the content kindles the global spread of child sex trafficking in that age group. And one fundraiser has reached half-a-million supporters, banning together as customers and halting their subscriptions in solidarity to prove to Netflix that "our children are more valuable than our entertainment, and our money is better spent else where!"
Mike Cernovich condemned men in media for writing fawning reviews of the film. "No man who isn’t a creeper would be able to sit through the entire film without being utterly disturbed," he tweeted.
Cuties follows the story of an 11-year-old Muslim Senegalese immigrant named Amy who relocates to the Parisian housing projects. Amy befriends a troupe of twerking youths desperate to gain popularity while struggling through the throes of their childhood.
Netflix bought the film just before its premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival but contention surrounded the promotional poster, which featured the notorious dance scene. Netflix publicly apologized for the imagery and reverted to the original French design that depicts the characters frolicking with shopping bags.
David Reaboi noted how Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita dealt with this topic differently without the "wholesome" or "celebratory" slant. "Some are defending it on artistic grounds, but these people actually thrill to these awful scenes," he tweeted.
Mainstream film critics still pounced to the movie's defense.
The New Yorker tweeted that the film has "angered scandal-mongers on the right" as a "target of a right-wing campaign" when the story is about the "defiance of a patriarchal order."
The Telegram accused detractors of being "terrified of child sexuality" as if promiscuity at that age should be normalised.
Bustle entertainment writer Casey Cipriani claimed that the controversy might disperse if "you can watch it and decide for yourself." Many have already swarmed to Rotten Tomatoes to leave scathing reviews and plummet the ratings. The YouTube teaser trailer itself received 1.6 million dislikes. IMDB's parental guide clarified that the one erotic dance scene where one of the female child dancers "lifts up her cropped top to fully display her bare breast" is "lawfully defined as pedophilia."
"A pair of tight leather pants on an 11 year old girl are forcefully pulled down in the midst of a scuffle; the camera glances at her panty exposed bum," the warning continued.
Decider's Anna Menta urged similar sentiments, even instructing the angry mob to apologise to the director Maïmouna Doucouré. "[T]his movie is a thoughtful commentary on the way the hypersexualization of women in media affects girls at impressionable ages."
"It’s a truth that girls who are too young to even understand what sex is are sexualizing themselves because they perceive sexuality as a way for women to achieve power and attention," Menta alleged.
The Daily Beast described the movie as "this month's must-watch."
The Independent's Clémence Michallon asserted that Cuties "is too clever a film to be subjected to the kind of policing it has experienced so far" and "too intelligent and moving to be marred by one bad-taste poster."
Rolling Stone's senior editor David Fear called Cuties a "coming-of-age movie caught in the culture wars" and blamed the "major marketing mistake" for the film's widespread hatred.
"It’s actually a sensitive portrait of growing pains that deserves to be seen," Fear prefaced his vindication.
Fear attempted to justify the protagonist's exploitation because she is just a little girl "stuck watching her family fall apart and is trying to find a place for herself in the world."
"It’s a portrait of girls that decries how sexuality is force-fed to them and/or viewed as the only way to foster self-esteem at far too young an age," he argued.
However, the film on the "family friendly" streaming platform allegedly auditioned 650 vulnerable pre-adolescent actresses, ironically eager to gain fame and fortune as their portrayed characters, to hopefully dance on international screens in midriff-baring tops and short-shorts with their backs arched. The casting process took place over a six month period, the film’s producer Zangro stated in an exclusive interview to Variety.
Still, societal meta-commentators declare that the film is exploring femininity as a child defies her family's orthodoxy in an outlandish mockery of Islam, all while distributing borderline child pornography and pushing to normalize pedophilia.