Darren Lewis: Cuties film belittles every parent’s toughest fightby Darren Lewis, https://www.mirror.co.uk/authors/darren-lewis/
AS parents it is tough enough to protect our children from the plummeting standards on TV as it is, without the filth that is Netflix film Cuties.
Scantily-clad pre-teen kids writhing around as though they are lap dancers. Inappropriate dance routines from children under the guise of using “uncomfortable images to provoke a serious conversation about the sexualisation of girls”.
The eruption of anger since its release reached Congress in the US and, although that country is on its way to hell in a handcart, the politicians have a point.
The film focuses on an 11-year-old who decides to flee her parents’ strict household to join a young dance troupe, trying to make a name for themselves.
The routines the girls perform will make you physically sick. One two-minute sequence, released on social media last week, saw hundreds of users claim they would cancel their Netflix subscription.
Not only has the streaming service been defending the indefensible, it appeared, with its statement last week, to suggest it is us with the problem.
A Netflix spokesman said: “Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualisation 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 generally growing up and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”
Of course we care. It is the reason why we warn our kids about the dangers of the net: grooming, rabbit holes, catfishing and all the other pitfalls. It’s also why we maintain a dialogue and look to address the issues they may face growing up in an honest and an age-appropriate way.
To be fair to the director, Maimouna Doucoure, she is understood to have written the script for her debut feature film three years ago, taking her life experience as a refugee girl into account. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January this year, where Doucoure won the world cinema dramatic directing award.
But the less said about the people who had no issue with children losing their own innocence to highlight the loss of innocence in other kids, the better.
Even the artwork, showing the pre-teenage girls, legs akimbo, was eventually withdrawn and replaced, accompanied by an apology after a justified wave of revulsion.
“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties,” Netflix tweeted, “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 film itself, however, remains a problem. A big problem.