September 11, 2020

Newsweek: ‘#CancelNetflix Is Valid’: The National Center on Sexual Exploitation Weighs in on ‘Cuties’

Originally Published at Newsweek

By James Crowley

Cuties director Maïmouna Doucouré spoke about how young girls are exposed to overly sexualized women in an interview, called “Why I Made Cuties,” that was released on YouTube on Wednesday, as part of Netflix’s “Film Club” series. “Our girls see that the more a woman is overly sexualized on social media, the more she’s successful,” she said in the video interview. “The children just imitate what they see trying to achieve the same result without understanding the meaning, and yeah, it’s dangerous.”

Now, NCOSE has released a statement criticizing Netflix for distributing the film. In a tweet featuring the statement, the organization’s director of public policy, Eleanor Gaetan, argued that while Doucouré’s motives may have been noble, the production should not have used such young actors. “#CancelNeflix is valid: We commend the director for highlighting the reality of sexual pressure on girls, but why did Netflix need to exploit the actors to make the point,” Gaetan wrote on Twitter, above a picture of the more formal statement.

In the statement, which was also received by Newsweek, NCOSE director of corporate and strategic initiatives, Lina Nealon, echoed a similar sentiment. “While we commend Maïmouna Doucouré for exposing the very real threats to young girls having unfettered access to social media and the internet, we cannot condone the hypersexualization and exploitation of the young actresses themselves in order to make her point,” she said.

Nealon also suggested that certain edits to the movie be made. “Netflix could and should insist that the particularly sexually-exploitative scenes are cut from the film, or stop hosting this film at all,” she said.

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