Netflix sees cancellations increase by 5x after release of ‘Cuties’

Sep 17, 2020, 4:25 PM | Updated: Oct 7, 2020, 10:20 am
Netflix cancellations texas cuties...
FILE - This image released by Netflix shows the cast of the coming-of-age film "Cuties." The backlash to the French independent film “Mignonnes,” or “Cuties,” started before it had even been released because of a poster that went viral for its provocative depiction of its young female actors. (Netflix via AP, File)
(Netflix via AP, File)

Backlash over the French film “Cuties” that recently premiered on Netflix has led to a drastic number of cancellations for the streaming service.

According to reports and data collected by the analytics company Antenna, Netflix has seen five times the normal number of cancellations since the film began streaming on the service compared to the last 30 days. 



Criticism came shortly after it was released Sept. 9 in the U.S. for overly sexualizing the group of pre-teen girls the film is focused on.

“Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” said a Netflix spokesperson in a statement to the Deseret News. “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.”

Critics say the movie has done the exact opposite of being a voice against the sexualization of young children and steps over the line to become child pornography.

The TV-MA film has also drawn criticism from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) who has floated the idea of having the U.S. attorney general investigate the film for possibly violating child exploitation laws.

In a letter sent to Netflix Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings Lee writes, “Many have raised concerns—which I share—regarding the film’s depiction of the exploitation of young girls’ bodies. In part because of scenes depicting scantily clad children dancing in a sexually suggestive manner, Netflix has rated the movie TV-MA, or mature audience only.

“My concern is not necessarily that the film is rated TV-MA, but that the ‘explicit sexual activity’ that led to the TV-MA rating involves sexually suggestive dancing by girls as young as eleven years old.”

Lee said that although he’s concerned the film may be a negative influence for other young girls, his larger concern is that it may lead to an increase in the exploitation of young people. 

“While I have concerns with the movie’s young actresses’ influence on other young girls, my larger concern is with the possibility that the inappropriate scenes might encourage the sexual exploitation of young girls by adults,” the senator wrote. “I understand this film contains a broader storyline; however, the film’s sexualization of young girls—if not itself the sexual exploitation of the child actors–will certainly contribute to child sexual exploitation by others.

“At a minimum, it is certainly inappropriate and morally wrong to sexualize minors, regardless of whether the depiction is fictional,” he writes.

Last month, Netflix backtracked praise for the film after it won the World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City earlier this year. The streaming service also apologized for the original promotional poster which included the four young girls posing suggestively.

“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties,” the streaming service posted on Twitter. “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.”


In a statement to the Deseret News, Parents Television Council President Tim Winter said the company is a part of the problem, not a part of the solution.

“Earth to Netflix: You’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. A big part. Not only does ‘Cuties’ perpetuate the very type of child sexual exploitation that you purport to be condemning; you have produced, distributed and profited from a cancerous mass of other sexually exploitative material. ‘Cuties’ is but the latest offering, and your callous response makes clear to millions of Americans across the political spectrum that you have no commonsense decency whatsoever.”

Lee Lonsberry covered the controversy over Netflix’s Cuties during LiveMic hear his full breakdown here:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

A woman wearing white sitting in front of a light box...
Michelle Lee

Winter blues: light therapy and lifestyle changes can help

SALT LAKE CITY – With the chilly weather and the shorter days, many people are prone to experience the winter blues. In the latest Let’s Get Moving with Maria podcast episode, host Maria Shilaos spoke with Dr. Jason Hunziker from the Huntsman Mental Health Institute about ways people can overcome the winter blues. Seasonal depression […]
23 hours ago
little cottonwood canyon pictured, avalanche risk there is high...
Devin Oldroyd

Backcountry skier dead after fatal fall in Little Cottonwood Canyon

A backcountry skier is dead after "tumbling a significant distance," according to the Unified Police Department. The incident occurred near Lisa Falls.
23 hours ago
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 03: Grammy trophies sit in the press room during the 64th Annual GRAMMY A...
Marianne Garvey, CNN

How to watch the 2023 Grammy Awards: Time, channels and more

The biggest night in music is here with the 65th Grammy Awards on Sunday. If you want to see Harry Styles, Lizzo and more perform, here's how to tune in.
23 hours ago
SLCPD cruiser...
Chandler Holt

SLCPD officer witnesses wrong-way drunk driver crash into embankment

At around 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning, an SLCPD officer witnessed a 2009 black Ford F-150 traveling at a high rate of speed in the wrong lane. 
23 hours ago
This photo purports to show the suspected Chinese balloon flying over Mills River, North Carolina, ...
Heather Chen and Wayne Chang, CNN

China says it ‘reserves the right’ to deal with ‘similar situations’ after US shoot down suspected spy balloon

China says it "reserves the right" to deal with "similar situations" following the United States' decision to shoot down its high-altitude balloon.
23 hours ago
In the golden age of space exploration we live in, cosmic revelations seem to occur more frequently...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

Cosmic seaplanes and self-growing bricks could help us explore other worlds

In the golden age of space exploration we live in, cosmic revelations seem to occur more frequently than ever before.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Netflix sees cancellations increase by 5x after release of ‘Cuties’