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Netflix Apologizes for Cuties Poster that Sexualized Its Child Stars

The French film is a sensitive and thoughtful coming-of-age story

Krutika Mallikarjuna

Netflix responded swiftly to backlash they received over a promotional poster for the French film Cuties that sexualized its child stars by apologizing for the "inappropriate" art on Twitter.

Cuties, which won the World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award at Sundance and debuted on Netflix on Aug. 19, follows the journey of 11 year-old Amy (Fathia Youssouf) whose life changes when she joins a dance squad. Her new friends and the freedom of expression dance gives her allows Amy to discover and define her own femininity, but at the cost of clashing with her mother and their family's values. 

Considering the film is hailed as a sensitive and thoughtful portrayal of the difficult journey into young womanhood, many were shocked to see a poster released from Netflix featuring the four cuties of the dance squad in provocative poses. The poster mimicked the style of dance movie posters like Step Up or Magic Mike, in which age-appropriate adult leads are featured in romantic or sexually alluring positions. Many decried the image as "disgusting" and "repulsive" on Twitter, with others adding that "Netflix really messed up."

In contrast, the French poster features the cuties running up hill laden with shopping bags and gleefully wearing their purchases -- bras and underwear -- over their clothes. It gives a much clearer picture of what this movie is all about -- four young friends who are figuring how to grow up in a confusing world, together. 

"We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Cuties," said Netflix 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."


Bac Films

Cuties is now streaming on Netflix.