'Cuties' Director Slams Critics, Claims Netflix Film is 'Bold' & 'Feminist'
Maimouna Doucoure defends her film after allegations it sexualizes children
The director of "Cuties" has slammed critics who say her Netflix film sexualizes children, arguing her work is "bold" and "feminist."
Maïmouna Doucouré defended her controversial film in response to the enormous backlash surging on social media and beyond.
Doucouré blasted the allegations, claiming that “Cuties” is a “feminist” work that seeks to raise the alarm about the current sexualization of children.
Appearing at the Toronto International Film Festival on Monday, Doucouré was speaking on a panel for French filmmakers.
She said she wanted to raise awareness about a societal problem, insisting that she did not make a film intended for pedophiles.
“It’s because I saw so many things and so many issues around me lived by young girls, that I decided to make this film and sound an alarm and say, ‘We need to protect our children,'” Doucouré said.
“It’s bold, its feminist, but it’s so important and necessary to create debate and try to find solutions, for me as an artist, for politicians and parents," she declared.
"It’s a real issue,” she added, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Doucouré also hailed her film for being a piece of representation for people of color to see themselves on screen.
“It’s important to see someone like you on the screen, and to grow up with a lot of possibilities,” she said.
"So, of course, diversity and inclusion have to be the keys to progress in our cinema."
Netflix found itself at the center of controversy last month when it released a poster for the movie “Cuties” that featured pre-teen girls in sexually suggestive poses, according to The Daily Wire.
The company apologized after severe online backlash.
“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for ‘Cuties’,” Netflix said in a statement.
"It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which premiered at Sundance.
"We’ve now updated the pictures and description."
“Cuties” tells the story of 11-year-old Amy who joins a dance group called “The Cuties” at school with her friends.
The film holds a 90% score on Rotten Tomatoes and won the World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award at Sundance this year.
Defenders of the film say that Netflix dramatically misrepresented the story’s content with its poster, noting that the original French advertisements were tame by comparison.
However, upon the movie’s release last Wednesday, the hashtag #CancelNetflix quickly began trending when clips of the movie revealed that the poster indeed reflected the movie’s content: pre-teen girls dancing sexually.
In response to the backlash, Netflix defended the film as “a social commentary against the sexualization of young children.
"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.”
Much of the mainstream media has largely run cover for “Cuties” and Netflix overall, choosing instead to blame the backlash on misguided conservatives who judged the film before ever watching it.
A recent op-ed in Slate even went as far as to say that conservatives have a “creepy” obsession with the film.