Netflix facing mass boycott over controversial French film

Netflix facing mass boycott over controversial French film

NETFLIX IS facing a mass boycott of subscribers over its decision to feature the controversial French film Mignonnes on the streaming platform. 

The film, whose title translates as Cuties in English, centres on an 11-year-old Senegalese girl who finds herself caught between her Muslim family’s traditional values and internet culture. 

French-Senegalese filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré won the Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival for the film, which represents her debut feature. 

Critics were quick to praise the film for confronting serious and concerning themes about the increasing hypersexualisation of pre-adolescent girls with poignancy and nuance. 

However, a backlash has grown against Cuties in the months that have followed, with critics on social media accusing the film of portraying its young stars in a sexualised way. 

The criticism began in August, when Netflix was forced to withdraw the artwork it had put in place to promote the film ahead of its release on the platform, with many branding the images used as “inappropriate.” 

The backlash remerged over the past few days following the film’s debut on the streaming service.  

#CancelNetflix has also became the top trend on Twitter, with more than 200,000 tweets containing the hashtag posted in the past 24 hours. 

Several US politicians have also joined calls for Netflix to be boycotted over the film. 

California Republican Beatrice Cardenas tweeted: "As the mother of an 8-year old girl, I STRONGLY support #CancelNetflix.” 

Another Republican politician, Omar Navarro, tweeted: "The hypersexualisation of girls (and boys) is disgustingIt is morally and ethically reprehensible." 

Avengers and Creed star Tessa Thompson has spoken out in defence of the film, which she insists is “beautiful”. 

"It introduces a fresh voice at the helm. She's a French Senegalese Black woman mining her experiences,” she said. 

"The film comments on the hyper-sexualization of preadolescent girls. Disappointed to see the current discourse. Disappointed to see how it was positioned in terms of marketing. 

"I understand the response of everybody. But it doesn't speak to the film I saw." 

A Netflix spokesperson has also moved to try and assuage some of the concerns expressed online. 

"Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualisation of young children,” they said. 

"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."