2020 has been a year marred by a pandemic, social justice outrage and racial injustices.
One issue that has been going on in the background is the sexualization of our children. Netflix’s controversial film, “Cuties,” is the embodiment of everything wrong with the counterculture movement in America.
The #SaveOurChildren has become very popular on Twitter, and you will find no shortage of people displaying their outrage over the “Cuties” documentary on the platform.
“Cuties” is a French documentary released Sept. 9 on Netflix directed by Maïmouna Doucouré and has quickly become the topic for a political battle in the social media world right now.
“Cuties” is supposedly about “show(ing) that our children should have the time to be children, and we as adults should protect their innocence and keep them innocent as long as possible,” according to Doucouré.
The film’s description on Netflix was originally listed as “Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions.”
Soon after the documentary was released, this description was coincidentally changed after the initial backlash.
“Amy, an 11-year-old girl, joins a group of dancers named ‘the cuties’ at school, and rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity - upsetting her mother and her values in the process.”
The description change suggests that Netflix was very aware of the backlash from their audiences and deliberately changed the description to be less suggestive. From the description alone, one can deduce that this film is geared to be counterculture and defy social norms.
Netflix also changed the initial movie poster after fans were outraged by the image portraying these children. After realizing their blatant error in suggestive content, Netflix apologized saying the poster was “inappropriate.”
This documentary was filmed using actual children and young teens. The three main characters of the documentary are Amy (Fathia Youssouf), 14; Angelica (Medina El Aidi-Azouni), 12; and Coumba (Esther Gohourou), 14.
After seeing various clips from the documentary, I have found myself in a state of disgust and astonishment at the fact the film is being defended by some critics and fans.
There are scenes that show these children twerking and dancing in suggestive ways that are considered inappropriate by many.
Along with the absurd amount of suggestive dancing, the girls use a variety of vulgar and indecent language, as described by the Parents Television Council.
Mind you, these are children, who are all considered minors, being filmed by grown adults. There is so much content that many, like myself, find utterly ridiculous and unnecessary for a film that is supposed to be “a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” as described to Time by a Netflix spokesperson.
There is a scene in the movie where the girls in the crew chat with a boy over the web and talk to him about liking “tits” and if he would “like to touch theirs.”
In another jaw-dropping scene, one of the girls takes a picture of her genitals and uploads it to Instagram to show that “we are not kids.” This is supposedly depicting an 11-year-old child.
Along with the actual scenes, the camera work in the movie is so explicit that many YouTubers are forced to blur the images in order to comply with community guidelines.
Despite the controversy, Netflix has stood firm with their decision to keep this film on their platform to be “woke.”
This movie has been so shocking that it has caused government officials like Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to speak out.
“In this era where we are fighting a seemingly never-ending battle against human trafficking, this film is counterproductive,” he said. “It whets the appetites of those who wish to harm our children in the most unimaginable ways.”
He has requested that Netflix voluntarily removes the “award winning film” due to these concerns.
Another government official, Senator Ted Cruz, requested a full-blown investigation of Netflix and those who produced the film to see if it “violated any laws against the production and distribution of child pornography,” as reported by The Today Show.
Despite so many people speaking up against the movie, Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an 89 percent rating, which is higher than multi-billion-dollar films like “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Giving this film such glowing reviews proves that they are trying to push an agenda in an attempt to be “woke” and with the times.
In a time where we have tried to band together to push for change and bring about social justice, we should be doing it here for this film. Where is cancel culture?
Cancel culture successfully managed to push for the name change of the Washington Football team (formerly the Redskins), and we love that.
We are not against cancel culture, and we support social change, but can we get cancel culture to work harder to get this film removed off Netflix?
While actors, directors and spokespersons have defended the film claiming it is “geared for social change,” you discredit yourself because you are doing the very thing you are fighting against.
If you are trying to discourage against sexualizing children, why would you sexualize children to the extreme degree that you have? Children today are exposed to so much in our world and have to learn about their sexuality at a younger age. This could be executed in a more couth and effective way.
To create shock value, they chose to use actual children to do this. If they had chosen to use people who were of legal age playing younger girls, the message could have been received better.
As someone who aspires to be a father someday, I hope the day never comes where we acknowledge and accept child sexualization because it is rooted in our society. Times have changed, I acknowledge this, and we must change as well.
This movie has received a mature rating on Netflix, that in of itself should already suggest something is wrong with the documentary. If the film’s main actors consist of children who are underage, how can you produce a film that they are not even suggested to watch by their own rating?
This film should bring serious question to our values as a society and where we stand. Netflix is a large company that gives customers thousands of various viewing experiences.
“Cuties” should not offered by the platform, and Netflix should voluntarily remove the film before being forced to.