Netflix is reportedly feeling the backlash of conservatives and parents who feel “Cuties” sexualized children.
Variety reported that subscription cancellations have increased to eight times the daily average in August.
Netflix released the move on September 9, and was immediately criticized for being a form of child pornography. Critics used the #CancelNetflix hashtag to drum up public support.
“With the #CancelNetflix hashtag continuing to trend on social media, it is possible elevated churn could continue in the coming days, according to the firm,” Variety wrote, citing data from research company YipitData.
The complaints have reached the desks of lawmakers too. Senator Ted Cruz has already asked the Department of Justice to investigate Netflix’s involvement with the movie.
In a letter to Attorney General William Barr, Cruz said, “The film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing, including at least one scene with partial child nudity. These scenes in and of themselves are harmful. And it is likely that the filming of this movie created even more explicit and abusive scenes, and that pedophiles across the world in the future will manipulate and imitate this film in abusive ways.”
Democract Representive Tulsi Gabbard also expressed her disgust against “Cuties.”
“@netflix child porn ‘Cuties’ will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children. It happened to my friend’s 13-year-old daughter. Netflix, you are now complicit. #CancelNetflix,” Gabbard wrote on Twitter.
Maïmouna Doucouré the film’s director, for her part, claims the movie is actually about the dangers of sexualizing young girls.
“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,” Doucouré said.
Netflix issued its own statement, saying “Cuties” is “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 – and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”
The Washington Post gave this description of the movie: “‘Cuties’ follows an 11-year-old Senegalese immigrant to France named Amy (Fathia Youssouf) who finds herself repulsed by her traditional Muslim upbringing. But the alternative, the movie suggests, is kind of horrifying in a different way: She falls in with a group of fellow 11-year-olds who are working on a hypersexualized dance routine so they can enter a dance competition. They get their ideas from the Internet, learning to twerk and gyrate and simulate sex acts.”