Netflix has removed an “inappropriate” promotional image that showed girls posing in skimpy outfits for a new film called ‘Cuties’, and has since apologised.
The image sparked outrage and a petition, which has so far received more than 70,000 signatures, calling for Netflix to remove the film which they claim sexualises children.
Petitioners say the film exploits children. “The movie ‘Cuties’ shows children dressed provocatively, dancing sexually and is rated only for adult viewers,” Kelsi, who started the petition wrote. “It was created for the entertainment of adults who are paedophiles. Please sign the petition to protect our children from exploitation in movies.”
The outrage also extended to Twitter, with users spewing much of it at the marketing poster for the film, which shows the young cast posing in cropped dance costumes.
The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and will be available on the streaming service on September 9. The trailer was released earlier this week on YouTube. It has a TV-MA rating from Netflix.
“Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew,” the film’s description reads on the site.
However, Metro reports that the original summary was much more salacious: “Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions.”
The French film, which also goes by “Mignonnes,” was written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré, who is also Senegalese. She won the jury award at Sundance for directing the movie.