Cuties is based on Director Maïmouna Doucouré’s own growing years. She was born to Senegalese immigrants and grew up in a Muslim family just like the protagonist in her movie Cuties. After it premiered at The Sundance Film Festival, Netflix shared the movie’s poster and that is when all hell broke loose.
It is not uncommon for the streaming giant to be embroiled in controversy, but none where even politicians got involved. Much more than the content of the film it was the poster that caused the outrage. The poster showed the girls in exposing clothes and suggestive poses. Twitteratis and critics called Doucouré’s work a glorification of pedophilia.
What is the Netflix movie, Cuties about?
The movie follows an 11-year-old Amy, who is born to devout Muslim parents. Struggling to find her identity, she joins a dance crew, Cuties. The girls wear short revealing outfits, dye their hair, and twerk! The movie is a commentary on race and social media that has a profound impact on young girls’ identity.
“This film depicts the exact way I grew up [and] the Muslim culture that I grew up in. Amy evolves in the film in this exact culture in which I evolved in. So, it is very important for me to show an Islam that is far from stereotypical and far from what we normally see on the screen about Islam,” Doucouré said.
The backlash was bad. Those who defended the movie were called pedophiles and perverts. #CancelNetflix was trending on Twitter. The streamer was even accused of promoting child pornography.
Is the French Senegalese movie still available on Netflix?
Despite the widespread controversy, Cuties remains on Netflix. Although the company apologized for the same, the co-CEO added, “I think it’s a little surprising that in 2020 in America, we’re having a discussion about censoring storytelling,” in defensedefense.
According to Verge’s reports, leaked internal documents revealed that the company manipulated its algorithm. In doing so the movie won’t show up in recommendations or anybody’s home page. This was an effort on the part of the digital giant to reduce the press coverage on the show and the movie’s reach. However, if you search the keyword, you can easily access the movie.