Amid widespread public backlash, Netflix refused to apologize for Cuties, a French film that features the inappropriate sexualization of young girls in several scenes.
The streaming giant released the film this week, and according to its IMDB page, at least one moment in the film could be “lawfully defined as pedophilia.”
IMDB’s parental warning on the film states: “During one of the many highly sexualized & erotic dance scenes that purposefully exploit & objectify numerous scantily clad under age [sic] girls, one of the female child dancers lifts up her cropped top to fully display her bare breast. This is lawfully defined as pedophilia and can be extremely distressing to many viewers.”
In another scene, an 11-year-old girl “watches a female rap music video where naked women role play through dance, both heterosexual and lesbian sex acts,” according to IMDB’s parental warning.
A group of underage girls “then mimics these sexual moves on themselves and on each other while the camera zooms in” on the “erotically” writhing girls, said the warning.
According to Netflix, this movie is just a “social commentary against the sexualization of young women,” a spokesperson told Variety.
“It’s an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up—and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie,” the spokesperson continued.
Viewers, however, demanded that Netflix remove the film.
More than 600,000 people have signed a petition titled, “Cancel Netflix Subscription,” since Netflix had “chosen to ignore the … wishes of its customers” by allowing the film’s release.
It cited other examples of content that crossed the line, including Big Mouth, a controversial cartoon that also portrays children in sexually inappropriate situations.
“From cuties to Big Mouth to other movies mocking religions and exploiting children Netflix is no longer the family friendly streaming service I one believed it to be!” the petition’s author wrote.