Netflix under fire, accused of sexualizing pre-adolescent girls in new ‘Cuties’ series

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Top-ranking streamer Netflix is being ripped for picking up a fall series that critics say overtly sexualizes girls as young as 11 years old.

The series, “Cuties,” is about a young black girl from Senegal who disregards family traditions and runs away to join a dance troupe featuring other young girls who, in a trailer, appear to be twerking.

“Amy, 11 years old, tries to escape family dysfunction by joining a free-spirited dance clique named ‘Cuties,’ as they build their self confidence through dance,” Netflix says in a description of a series that The Wrap reports was picked up “out of Sundance from director and writer Maïmouna Doucouré after it won the Directing Award in the World Cinema Dramatic category at the festival earlier this year.”

The Wrap adds:

The group stands in stark contrast to her mother’s traditional values, and [Amy] soon becomes aware of her own femininity well beyond her years through dance. She soon inspires the girls to embrace more sensual dance moves as part of their routine even as she begins to face the realities of growing up, and they hope to twerk their way to stardom at a local dance contest.

“Undeterred by the girls’ initial brutal dismissal and eager to escape her family’s simmering dysfunction, Amy, through an ignited awareness of her burgeoning femininity, propels the group to enthusiastically embrace an increasingly sensual dance routine, sparking the girls’ hope to twerk their way to stardom at a local dance contest,” Netflix notes in its description of the series.

All of the girls in the trailer appear to be prepubescent or in the beginning stages of puberty.

Here is the trailer:

“Eleven-year-old Amy lives with her mom, Mariam, and younger brother, awaiting her father to rejoin the family from Senegal. Amy is fascinated by disobedient neighbor Angelica’s free-spirited dance clique, a group that stands in sharp contrast to stoic Mariam’s deeply held traditional values,” says Netflix’s description, according to The Hollywood News.

“In our culture, even today, I can say I’m not totally free,” Doucouré told The Wrap. “Because I love to wear short dresses and at the same time, when I go to a religious ceremony, I wear a veil. Just choose as a woman: who do you want to be?”

At the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the writer/director said women should “have the right to choose which women we can be in this world.”

The series has sparked outrage from some sectors of society who claim it blatantly and inappropriately sexualizes pre-teen girls. In addition, critics have launched an online petition drive to force Netflix to drop the series.

“There is no need for this kind of content in that age group, especially when sex trafficking and pedophilia are so rampant! There is no excuse, this is dangerous content!” A petition organizer named Allison Mitchell wrote.

As of this writing, nearly 23,700 people had signed the petition out of a goal of 25,000.

https://twitter.com/esaagar/status/1296215544580931584

https://twitter.com/JadenPMcNeil/status/1296210793915129858

https://twitter.com/JadenPMcNeil/status/1296238323447586816

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Jon Dougherty

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