Netflix has apologized for an “inappropriate” poster it shared on social media promoting a new movie called Cuties, about an 11-year-old dancer.
“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties,” the streamer tweeted Thursday. “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.”
The apology came after controversy erupted when Netflix posted artwork for the film on its official Twitter account earlier this week.
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Originally titled Mignonnes, the movie is a coming-of-age drama about Amy, an 11-year-old girl who joins a “free-spirited” dance crew known as the “Cuties” at her school. As she becomes more interested in dance, Amy ignores her family’s conservative Senegalese Muslim traditions.
The movie debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and won a jury award for directing.
The controversial Netflix poster for the drama featured four young girls striking suggestive poses while seemingly twerking in revealing outfits. The French artwork showed the girls walking and having fun.
Once Netflix tweeted out the suggestive poster, there was immediate backlash with people calling it “disgusting,” and saying it “sexualizes” children.
The movie was directed and written by French filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré. There are reports that Doucouré, who is Black and of Senegalese descent, has received death threats amid the controversy.
While Netflix apologized and changed the poster, it still plans to stream Cuties globally starting on Sept. 9.
Thousands of people have signed a Change.Org petition demanding Netflix drop the film. As of Thursday evening, the petition had over 125,000 signatures.