The views on the film were polarized.
In August, Netflix was criticized for a promotional poster for the movie “Cuties,” which depicted children in provocative sexual positions. The company apologized for the “inadequate artwork” and said the poster was not representative of the film. However, following the poster, the painting itself was criticized. Although it received a TV-MA (Adults Only) rating, American parent organizations supported the ban. New Yorker journalist Richard Brody believes the service has done itself a disservice with misleading marketing.
“Cuties” is not a twerk film. It is about the fact that children, especially children from poor and non-white families, are deprived of resources: education, emotional support, family discussions and are influenced by sexualized media and pop culture. To promote the film, the channel should have emphasized that this is the story of a teenage girl’s rebellion against the patriarchal order in the family.
The conservative social group Parental Control TV is outraged not only by the Netflix ads and the teens dancing erotic dances in the film, but also by the scenes it contains. In one, the main character takes pictures of her genitals and posts them on the Internet, in the other, she tries to seduce her adult cousin. The group is in favor of banning the tape.
Netflix disagrees with this assessment. A spokesperson for the service said in an interview with Variety:
“Cuties” is a statement against the sexualization of children. It is an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure that teenage girls face on social media and in society at large. We encourage everyone who is concerned about these important issues to watch the film.