The hashtag “#CancelNetflix” was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter in the U.S. Thursday, after ‘Cuties’ premiered September 9 on Netflix.
The controversial French film tells the story of a young Senegalese girl in Paris who joins a “free-spirited dance clique” to escape family dysfunction.
But ever since the release of its promotional video, the film has been facing backlash for sexualizing children.
A petition on Change.org calling on Netflix customers to cancel their subscriptions over “Cuties” and other content on the streaming service “that exploits children and creates a disturbing vibe,” currently has more than 600,000 signatures.
“I have found many shows and movies on Netflix to have similar inappropriate behaviors as Cuties, the movie this petition was originally based off. As Netflix has chosen to ignore the petition and the wishes of its customers, I feel we need to ban together and cancel our subscriptions!,” Kelsi Swift, the creator of the petition writes.
However, Netflix in a bid to change the narrative, said ‘Cuties’ is a social commentary on the sexualization of young children.
Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement to 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.”