Texas House Representative Matt Schaefer has called for an investigation into Netflix’s recently released film Cuties on the grounds that the film may violate child exploitation laws.
Cuties, originally titled Mignonnes, is a French film written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré that follows a young Sengalese girl as she rebels against her traditional Muslim culture by joining a ‘twerking’ dance crew.
Though the film has been said to be a critique of the increasing hyper-sexualization of children in Western culture, it has instead found itself at the center of a widespread backlash on social media due to the overtly-sexual performances of the young actresses seen in the film.
“I trusted the director’s claim that it was just a social issues film,” said YouTuber D’Angelo Wallace. “I believed everyone saying that Netflix just misconstrued her film in a pedophilic way. Turns out I should have just gone with my gut instinct.”
Journalist Sophia Narwitz described the film as “irresponsible filmmaking” and stated that “what’s sad is that a good chunk of it is workable, & it has a core message worth exploring, but thanks to questionable directing it becomes irredeemably gross.”
Twitter user @ChristinaTasty described the situation as “Cuties has us talking about the sexualisation of minors with its sexualisation of minors and while it’s a pretty egregious case of sexualisation of minors it *does* succeed in making us talk about the sexualisation of minors,” and concluded “Mission Failed Successfully.”
Amidst the growing controversy surrounding the film, Texas Rep. Schaefer announced that he had “asked Texas Attorney General Paxton’s office to investigate the @netflix film “Cuties” for possible violations of child exploitation and child pornography laws.”
In defense of the film, Netflix released a statement to media outlets earlier this week that described Cuties as “social commentary against the sexualization of young children.”
“It’s an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up — and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie,” the statement concluded.
Do you support Schaefer’s call for investigation into Cuties? Has Netflix’s statement eased your concerns around the film? Let us know on social media or in the comments down below.