Spanish – Mignonnes, better known as Cuties, is a film directed by Maïmouna Doucouré that has been involved in a media controversy for its inappropriate sexualization of children and its open apology of pedophilia.
Despite attempts to justify the film, above all, using succinct explanations of the plot, the reality is that the film contains alarming and reprehensible scenes of young girls exercising sexual behavior in erotic dances without showing this as predator bait behavior.
Internet users were quick to express their unequivocal rejection of the film that won, by the way, the jury award for best direction at the Sundance Film Festival 2020 and has received very good reviews despite all the controversy.
Netflix is comfortable with this. Plenty of people will defend it. This is where our culture is at. pic.twitter.com/UlqEmXALmd
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) September 10, 2020
Netflix decidió estrenar 'Cuties' y si pensaron que iba a ser horrible, piensen de nuevo: es MUCHÍSIMO peor. Bailes extremadamente explícitos, tomas a la entrepierna y niñas (¡NIÑAS!) tocándose. Porno suave, un tesoro para pedófilos. pic.twitter.com/rCPgY2Q5jQ
— Andrés I. Henríquez ن (@AHenriquezVe) September 10, 2020
The plot of the film, in essence, is about a Muslim girl of Senegalese origin who finds herself “at a crossroads:” the traditional values of her family and “the culture of the internet.” The girl, called Amy, goes through various family problems and ends up meeting her new friends with whom she performs dances with openly erotic movements and short dresses unsuitable for her age. They have dance contests, put themselves on the internet, become famous, and end up exposing themselves to the virtual world.
According to its director, and several media that tried to defend this production, the idea of the film was not to “normalize pedophilia” but to show the current reality of child hypersexualization.
But the reality is that, despite any argumentative explanation of the film, the scenes used and the way the message is transmitted end up being truly aberrant.
Although critics have given it a standing ovation, users have categorically rejected the film. For example, on the most important aggregator of reviews of audiovisual productions, Rotten Tomatoes, more than 600 have voted, and today, the film has a popular approval of only 5%.
The initial controversy aggravated
Cuties’ advocates argued that people should first watch the film before condemning it. After all, the first thing that caused outrage was the advertising flyer that Netflix used to promote the film released on September 9. An explanation that was buried after it was proven that the film had grossly sexual scenes with minors.
At the time, social media “trending” words pointed to Netflix as a platform that normalized pedophilia, so the streaming company had no choice but to defend itself by arguing that the image used was an unintentional mistake. However, the company did not apologize for Cuties’ content, simply for the design of the flyer.
Now the trend has gone from #NetflixPedophilia to #CancelNetflix. The platform is suffering the just indignation in the networks regarding the launch of Cuties. Internet users have shown themselves to be a retaining wall to prevent the normalization of pedophilia, which is, after all, what the scenes in Cuties show.
In that sense, the counterargument to Cuties’ plot is quite simple: children are hypersexualized, but the way to combat it is not by advocating it, much less by normalizing it. The idea of fighting this cannot come from showing a group of 11-year-old girls dancing twerking in short clothes. It seems Kafkaesque to even have to explain it.