Controversial Netflix Movie ‘Cuties’ Makes Oscars Shortlist Despite Backlash

Cuties (Credit: Netflix)

Controversial film Cuties is currently one of five contenders up for consideration as France’s pick in the International Feature Film category at the 2021 Oscars.

Originally titled Mignonnes, the French drama received an onslaught of criticism from social media users and parents over the summer due to “inappropriate” artwork used to promote the movie.

Netflix, which distributed the film worldwide, received backlash for its Cuties promotional poster, which critics said “sexualizes” the film’s pre-teen stars. The controversial artwork featured the movie’s four child actresses in revealing clothes and suggestive poses, and was different from what was used for its original release in France.

Related Story: Netflix Responds to Backlash Over Movie Poster Critics Say ‘Sexualizes’ Children

In August, Netflix issued an apology on Twitter stating: “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.”

There have been reports that the movie’s French director, Maïmouna Doucouré, who is Black and of Senegalese descent, received death threats amid the controversy.

Cuties premiered at this year’s Sundance festival and Doucouré won the festival’s directing award for the World Cinema dramatic section.

The coming-of-age drama features Fathia Youssouf as 11-year-old Amy who is trying to navigate her Islamic culture while keeping up with Internet culture. Amy joins twerking dance troop Cuties and adds sexually suggestive dance moves into the choreography.

France’s Oscar selection committee will reconvene on Nov. 19 to decide which film from the five finalists will be its international Oscar contender for the year.

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