Is Child Exploitation the New Norm?

Netflix “Cuties” gets my thumbs down and a #DeleteNetflix


MyKenzey Granillo, Staff Writer

Let’s be honest, we need to talk about the movie, Cuties. Cuties is a 2020 Netflix coming-of-age drama, comedy, French movie about a young girl named Amy. Amy, an eleven-year-old girl that lives with her mother and two brothers in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Paris, waits for her father to rejoin the family from Senegal. Amy’s family urges her to participate in their religious values, but Amy finds it boring and seeks something more interesting for her. She eventually joins in with a group of girls that have their own dance team called, Cuties.

Yep, they made a movie about a bunch of young girls that dance and decided to call them cuties. Kinda creepy, right? In the film, the girls do horrifyingly sexual dance moves and wear overly revealing outfits that people are finding disgusting and not okay. The movie is supposed to be about celebration of girl power, but in all reality, it seems like child exploitation. This causing a little bit of social media backlash towards Netflix. People are now urging Netflix subscribers to delete their accounts because of the film, with hashtags like, #DeleteNetflix or #CancelNetflix. With the Washington Post saying, “It’s sick. It’s grotesque. You feel, for lack of a better word, ick watching it.”

The director of the movie, Maimouna Doucoure, decided to speak out about people wanting to delete her movie. She says, “I’m eager to see their reaction when they realize that we’re both on the same side of this fight against young children’s hypersextualization.” Hypersexualization meaning, compulsive sexual behavior. She says that people are missing the point of the movie. But I feel that is no excuse to let girls that age dress, and dance so inappropriately and unfittingly for a movie. I do like that she is putting this situation out for people to know and understand but at the same time I feel like its just making the problem worse. Some scenes are overly sexual and just should not be on Netflix or anywhere for that matter.

In ways, it’s a kind of movie that you just simply cannot look at and feel okay with. Some scenes truly had me questioning on why it is still available to watch on Netflix. Some of the scenes showing the girls twerking and moving in ways eleven-year-old girls should not be moving. This movie just leaves us all asking questions like, when will child exploitation stop? Why is this becoming a norm in our society? Does the director’s response justify the situation? Most importantly, how can you be a voice to help prevent events like this? Will you join the #DeleteNetflix movement?