Netflix has broken its silence after more than 150,000 people signed a petition to prevent the release of the upcoming film Cuties on its platform. Set to debut on Sept. 9, the French film faced backlash due to the way in which the streaming platform chose to promote it, many accusing Netflix of sexualizing pre-teen girls.
On Thursday, Netflix issued an apology on Twitter, announcing that it had changed the promotional material. The streamer also issued a statement to Entertainment Tonight, apologizing "for the inappropriate artwork that we used for this film," which they said "was not an accurate representation of the film so the image and description has been updated."
We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.— Netflix (@netflix) August 20, 2020
The initial description for the film on Netflix read, "Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family's traditions." That description was accompanied by a poster that showed the girls in their dance uniforms, which many deemed too revealing, and striking questionable poses.
Netflix has since changed the synopsis to read, "11-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family's traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew." The poster has also been replaced, the new one showing the four young actresses standing in a line and looking at the camera.
The decision to make the change came after the film, still weeks away from its premiere on the platform, sparked major backlash and even a Change.org petition. That petition called for Netflix not to release Cuties, which they said was "disgusting as it sexualizes an ELEVEN year old for the viewing pleasure of pedophiles and also negatively influences our children!" That petition, as of this posting, has gained more than 169,000 signatures and counting.
Netflix's apology and the change in the promotional material, however, is not necessarily going over well. Although many are grateful the streamer changed the poster and synopsis, the vast majority are still calling on Netflix not to release the film, some have even canceled their Netflix subscriptions in response. At this time, it appears as though Netflix intends to move ahead with Cuties' release.