Video distributor Netflix has removed a US promo poster for the French film Mignonnes (“Cuties”) featuring children in skimpy outfits and suggestive poses, after an outcry on social media, and a ban by notoriously perverted 4chan.
The subscription service said in a statement on Thursday that it was “deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Cuties,” acknowledging that the design – which featured the film’s 11-year-old protagonists in crop tops and booty shorts, several seemingly mid-twerk – was neither “OK” nor representative of the film itself.
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The offending poster was replaced with an image of the main character wearing a bit more clothing (though still wearing the same apprehensive expression). The original French poster is significantly more innocent-looking, showing the girls jubilantly waving bags after a shopping spree. They’re still sporting lingerie, but it’s worn on the outside of their clothes as one might expect from kids playing dress-up.
The company also changed the film’s description, larding it with euphemisms to placate the hordes of social media users accusing them of baiting or even encouraging pedophilia. The initial summary, which read “Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions,” became “11-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.”
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However, the company declined to elaborate on why it had settled on such an overtly sexualized image. Interviews with the film’s director Maïmouna Doucuré suggest a very different film from the celebration of twerking teens Netflix’s poster seems to advertise. Doucuré told Cineuropa the idea for the film had come to her after seeing a group of very young, scantily-clad girls dancing on stage “in a very sensual way,” leaving her “shocked” and pondering whether the girls were even “aware of the image of sexual availability that they were projecting.”
The image had sparked a firestorm on social media, with users calling it – and Netflix – “disgusting” and demanding to know how such filth had gotten past management. A petition demanding its removal had racked up nearly 90,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon, accusing the streaming service of “promoting child pornography” and catering to “adults who are pedophiles.”
Even 4chan, the infamous image board known as a haven for trolls and tentacle porn, put its foot down where Cuties was concerned. “Netflix may allow this crap, 4chan does not,” a moderator on the site’s /tv/ board warned – leaving many to wonder how far one’s morality must sink to out-sleaze 4chan.
— Emotional Support Sasquatch (@SLAMNDAN) August 20, 2020
4chan: is a cesspool of gore, trap imagery, racism, and authoritarianism.
Netflix: its ShowGirls but with preteenz!!
4chan: were a shitty platform, but we have standards!
When 4chan has the morale high ground on you, you fucked up more than I thought possible. pic.twitter.com/ErPx0b5xmm
— Goaldolf the Red (@Ravanaokc) August 20, 2020
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