Netflix’s Cuties Is Now Facing A Lawsuit

The Netflix movie Cuties has been embroiled in controversy since its poster was released by Netflix, showing its lead characters dressed in revealing clothing while posing provocatively on stage.

Cuties was directed by French filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré, who has previously released two short films called Hide-and-seek and Maman(s)Cuties (released as Mignonnes in France), which is Doucouré’s debut feature film, revolves around an eleven-year-old girl called Amy.  From an immigrant family with traditional religious values, Amy becomes involved with a dance group of her peers.  The film depicts its lead characters, pre-pubescent and adolescent girls, wearing revealing clothing and performing sexualized dances.

The film’s release prompted a renewal of the criticism that initially surrounded the film’s poster.  Movements circulated the internet encouraging people to cancel their Netflix subscriptions, with some analytics suggesting that Netflix’s cancellation rate in the aftermath of the film’s release rose to nearly eight times higher than its average daily levels.

The film also sparked criticism by members of the American government; U.S. Senator Josh Hawley wrote to Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings, saying, “Netflix is airing a film called Cuties depicting children being coached to engage in simulated sexual acts, for cameras both onscreen and off.  Your decision to do so raises major questions of child safety and exploitation, including the possibility of copycat behavior and exploitation of child actors.” 

Senator Ted Cruz has also spoken against the film, tweeting in September, “@netflix’s ‘Cuties’ sexualizes 11-year-old girls, and it’s disgusting and wrong. That’s why I’ve asked AG Barr to investigate whether Netflix, its executives, or the filmmakers violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography.”

Despite the harsh negative reaction it has faced from much of the public, Cuties was well-received by critics.  Roger-Ebert reviewer Monica Castillo called Cuties “difficult and challenging,” arguing towards the review’s end that “the movie is so much more nuanced and bold than the first wave of outrage charged… After all, these are issues facing many young girls growing up today in various corners of the world. You’d just never know it because their coming-of-age horror stories aren’t always told in film.” In addition, Netflix defended Cuties as a critique against sexualizing children.

However, a grand jury in Tyler County, Texas has indicted Netflix over Cuties for the “promotion of lewd visual material depicting a child.”

Texas House Rep Matt Schaefer soon after tweeted, “Netflix, Inc. indicted by grand jury in Tyler Co., Tx for promoting material in Cuties film which depicts lewd exhibition of pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age which appeals to the prurient interest in sex.”

In an article by Rolling Stone on the issue, former federal prosecutor Duncan Levin is quoted as saying that he believes the case is “very close to frivolous,” as it would have to be proven that Cuties lacks artistic value, which could be difficult as the film has been nominated for and won film festival awards.

While the merit of the lawsuit itself may have faced some debate, Cuties remains the subject of public debate.

Netflix has responded to the news of the lawsuit by saying, “’Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film.”


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Recent Articles

The Third Wave Of The Coronavirus Is Escalating

The third wave of coronavirus cases in the United States officially appears to be among us. As fall begins, the United States has been breaking previous records of daily cases. Some news sources reported, using data compiled by Johns Hopkins, that last Friday saw about 83,000 new cases of the coronavirus, well above the previous daily record of around 77,000, which was set back in July.

Tik Tok Video Sparks Army Investigation

After a viral video of a TikTok user skateboarding down the street, holding a carton of cranberry juice, and listening to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” blew up, it started a massive trend.

The Lincoln Project Threatened Over Times Square Billboards

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are clashing with the Lincoln Project over billboards put up by the group in Times Square.
The Lincoln Project is a political action committee that has worked against the re-election of President Trump.

Questions Arise After Rudy Giuliani’s Scene in Borat

Back on July 7, former New York mayor and current attorney to Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, reported an intrusion from an unusually dressed man to the New York Police; however, the police found that no crime had been committed. It has now come to light that the person in question was Sacha Baron Cohen, who was filming for his new movie, the sequel to his 2006 film Borat.

Banksy Painting Auctioned for Nearly $10 Million

In 2005, Banksy showcased an exhibition titled Crude Oils: A Gallery of Re-mixed Masterpieces, Vandalism and Vermin, in which he placed his own spin on famous art pieces. This gallery ran for over a week in London and included reworked pieces from artists including Warhol, Monet, and Van Gogh.