Netflix has been defending “Cuties” from its critics. But the streaming service may want to reconsider its stand, which seems to be detrimental to its business.
“Cuties” made its Netflix debut on September 9, 2020. The film is accused of sexualizing 11-year-old girls and the controversy is taking its toll on the streaming service, which is headquartered in Los Gatos, California, United States.
Since the release of “Cuties” on Netflix, there has been a substantial increase in the number of its subscribers who choose not to renew their subscription, global research firm YipitData told FOX Business. The number of subscribers leaving in September 2020 is almost eight times higher than the number of unsubscribers in August 2020, the firm found out.
Marking the directorial debut of Maïmouna Doucouré, 34, “Cuties” premiered in the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2020 in Utah, USA where the Senegalese-French film director and screenwriter won the Directing Award. Before the festival, Netflix bought the rights to release the film in all countries except France.
Originally, “Cuties” was set to hit theaters in France on April 1, 2020 but it was delayed because of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. BAC Films then released it on August 19, 2020.
What made the film infamously controversial was not necessarily its content. What infuriated the critics was how it was promoted by Netflix, which seemed to promote pedophilia.
Written and directed by Doucouré, “Cuties” is about Amy (Fathia Youssouf Abdillahi), an 11-year-old girl. Originally from Senegal, she lives with her mother Mariam (Maïmouna Gueye) in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Paris, France.
At school, Amy joins a dance troupe called the Cuties. Preparing for a talent competition, the members of the pre-teen group wear revealing outfits.
“Cuties” was also screened at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany. Joining Abdillahi and Gueye in the cast are Medina El Aidi, Esther Gohourou, Ilanah Cami-Goursolas, Myriam Hamma, Mbissine Thérèse Diop, Demba Diaw, Mamadou Samaké, Bilel Chegrani, Canelle Brival, Jean-Paul Castro and Bass Dhem, among others.