April 1, 2021


A Netflix film *intended* to spark conversation is doing precisely that. Now some lawmakers want it removed.

Why the controversy?

About “Cuties”

  • Sept 9: Netflix released the film about an 11-year-old Senegalese girl living in Paris with her strict Muslim family.
  • In the film, the girl is torn between her traditional upbringing and a dance troupe she joins which engages in highly sensual dance moves (ex: pre-teens twerking in crop tops).
  • Some criticize the film’s “hyper-sexualization” of young girls. Others applaud it for highlighting the issue.

About U.S. & Netflix Parental Ratings

  • “Cuties” is rated TV-MA under the 1996 federal rating system, meaning its intended to be viewed by adults / may be unsuitable for children under 17.
  • TV-MA films contain graphic violence, explicit sex and/or crude language.
  • Films rated TV-MA are given an adult maturity rating on Netflix. Parents may set parental control settings on Netflix to restrict viewing of adult-rated titles.

“Our girls see that the more a woman is sexualized on social media, the more she’s successful. And the children just imitate what they see, trying to achieve the same result without understanding the meaning. And, yeah, it’s dangerous.”

“Cuties” director and writer Maïmouna Doucouré, who said her own upbringing inspired her to make the film to “sound an alarm and say, ‘We need to protect our children.'”

“…this film does immeasurable damage to all of us fighting to keep our children safe.”

The Attorneys General of Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, & Texas want the film removed from Netflix because they say it “shows the creation and publication of child pornography” and is counterproductive to the fight against human trafficking. Netflix has defended the film as “social commentary.”

CUTIES CANCELLATIONS? After it premiered, #CancelNetflix went viral on Twitter. Within three days, Netflix’s cancellation rate multiplied by 8x compared to August, according to one data analytics firm. What do you think is the right call?

HEAR from the film maker herself:

by Jenna Lee,