Netflix has come under fire for refusing to remove a film which features eleven-year-olds dancing provocatively and touching themselves in a sexually suggestive manner.
‘Cuties’, released last week, revolves around a Senegalese girl living in Paris who forms a dance troupe with her friends.
In the film, the girls are shown being taught how to dance provocatively, and later perform an extremely suggestive dance routine involving ‘twerking’, gyrating and sexual touching in front of a crowd.
According to IMDb’s Parents’ Guide, the film features: “Frequent scenes of 11-year-old girls dancing lewdly where the camera pans in and zooms in on the children’s buttocks and midsections”.
It also depicts them watching pornography, playing with a condom, and while no nudity is shown, one scene shows the lead character removing her underwear and taking a picture before posting it online.
While Netflix claims the film is a “social commentary against the sexualization of young children”, it has been accused of exploiting children, with the producer revealing that around 650 girls were considered for the lead role.
The Christian Institute’s Ciarán Kelly said: “It’s reprehensible. You don’t challenge society’s appalling sexualisation of children by making a film encouraging it.”
The day after the film’s release, more than 200,000 tweets featured the hashtag #CancelNetflix, while a petition calling on subscribers to cancel their subscription has gathered more than 650,000 signatures.
The film has been branded “child pornography” and “morally and ethically reprehensible” for its “hyper-sexualisation” of children.
Former Presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz has called on the Department of Justice to investigate Netflix to determine whether the company has “violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography”.
He said: “The film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing, including at least one scene with partial child nudity.”