Netflix is apologizing for “inappropriate” artwork used for an upcoming film about a young aspiring dancer.
“Cuties,” originally titled “Mignonnes,” is a French-language film centered on 11-year-old Amy who becomes a member of a dance group dubbed the “Cuties.” It’s slated to stream on Netflix Sept. 9.
Artwork shared by writer Claire Heuchan and others on Twitter showed the film’s cast – all children – in midriff-baring uniforms and short shorts striking various dance poses. A description Heuchan shared tells how Amy “becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew.”
An apology for the artwork was shared to Netflix’s official Twitter account Thursday.
“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties,” the statement read. “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.”
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On Thursday afternoon, the updated description of the title on Netflix read: “Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.”
Still, many people want the movie gone. A Change.org petition titled “I want Netflix to remove the new movie Cuties as it promotes child pornography!” had garnered more than 89,000 signatures by Thursday afternoon.
The Parents Television Council, a conservative-leaning watchdog group, is requesting that the platform not release “Cuties,” and remove “other content that sexualizes children or romanticizes sexual assault and rape.”
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“Netflix must stop sexually exploiting children for the sake of entertainment, period,” the organization’s president, Tim Winter, said in a release issued to USA TODAY Thursday. “It’s time for Netflix to account for the content it hosts, and the first step it must take is to remove ‘Cuties’ and other content that sexualizes children, such as ‘Baby,’ ‘Big Mouth,’ and ‘Sex Education’ or that glamorizes rape and sexual assault such as ‘365 Days.’”
Netflix says there are no plans to remove the film at this time.
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“Cuties” director and writer Maïmouna Doucouré received the Directing Award in the World Cinema Dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.