Cuties is the controversial French film currently streaming on Netflix that the network describes as about “eleven-year-old Amy” who “starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.”
Left unmentioned in the promotional materials — but is inescapably all over social media — is that the movie is rather frank in its depictions of oversexualized preteen girls.
Please don’t think I’m exaggerating: Whatever its artistic pretensions (and we’ll get to those shortly), Cuties is absolutely a preteen sexploitation flick. It practically revels in 11-year-old girls dressed provocatively and performing dances (clothes on, fortunately) that wouldn’t be out of place on a strip club stage, up to and including mock (?) masturbation.
With all of the exploitation talk of little black girls, I am shocked to see so many Hollywood celebrates silent on the disgusting Netflix show “Cuties”. Perhaps them getting a future deal with Netflix is far more important than them speaking out on this atrocity. Hypocrites.
— Gianno Caldwell (@GiannoCaldwell) September 16, 2020
I watched Cuties so you wouldn’t have to — or at least I tried.
I did a lot of fast-forwarding through the movie, but not so much that I didn’t get the filmmaker’s gist.
This is a technique I pioneered several years ago during a trial I had the misfortune to serve as a juror.
The case involved possession of child pornography, and we jurors were required to sit there while the prosecution played the video evidence on a large screen in the courtroom. Judge Thomas Kane was merciful and didn’t require us to sit through the hour or more of video.
Even so, I would look up at the screen long enough to ascertain that, yes, the videos were indeed what the prosecution said they were, and then went back to staring at a blank stretch of wall.
We returned guilty verdicts against the defendant, and then I went home and drank away his name — but I’ve never been able to drink away his over-scrubbed pig face.
I did the same thing with Cuties, fast-forwarding through the sexploitation parts while sitting attentively through the rest of the film.
To her credit, Cuties director Maïmouna Doucouré does present the positive message that the over-sexualization of preteen girls is encouraged by social media and the popular culture, and that it’s a bad thing.
To her discredit, Doucouré either couldn’t or wouldn’t send her message without indulging in the very same sexploitation she tried to condemn.
Cuties is much like exploitation movies from the ’50s that always came with stern warnings about what you were about to see. But everyone went to see them for the naked people, not for the message.
Or as Lauren Southern wrote for Human Events on Monday:
There’s no way a film based solely around the sexualization of children could make it through full production, film festivals, and Netflix deals. There had to be some context to this, right? There had to be some redeeming qualities to Cuties, right? Wrong. Oh boy, was I ever wrong, I can’t even begin to describe how wrong I was. The context somehow manages to make the whole thing worse.
It is impossible to condemn Cuties — or the people streaming it or defending it — too strongly.
The public outrage over Netflix’s decision to stream the movie and for its marketing of it has led to canceled accounts, boycotts, and plenty of hot discussions on Twitter and Facebook.
Netflix cancellations are up eightfold over August, according to a report in Tuesday’s Washington Examiner.
The reaction to just the trailer has been almost uniformly negative, and yet Cuties is currently the number four streaming movie on Netflix.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote to Attorney General William Barr earlier this week, “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. These scenes in and of themselves are harmful.”
If you had thought that the sexploitation of preteen girls was something Americans of all stripes could agree was a bad thing, well… welcome to 2020, when everything is politicized and anything can be used as a cudgel against conservatives.
On Monday, Axios and NBC both tried (and failed) to paint the outrage as part of a rightwing QAnon conspiracy:
Axios poured scorn on GOP politicians by stating on Twitter that their stance was “linked to a child sex trafficking conspiracy theory central to the QAnon movement.” That post has since been deleted, and the article has since removed all mention of QAnon.
Other outlets that have criticized the “far-right obsession” with pedophilia include Rolling Stone, Buzzfeed News, Slate, MotherJones, NBC’s Ben Collins, who called the post “well-framed,” and other left-wing heaps of trash.
To her credit, former Democratic presidential candidate and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) slammed Netflix last Friday.
.@netflix child porn "Cuties" will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children. It happened to my friend's 13 year old daughter. Netflix, you are now complicit. #CancelNetflix pic.twitter.com/GI8KFH7LFq
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) September 12, 2020
Judging by much of the Left’s reaction to Gabbard, I was correct in my estimation during her presidential run that she’s one of the few sane Democrats remaining on the national stage.
If for whatever reason you choose to watch Cuties, allow me first to give you the following VodkaPundit Content Warning: You might be able to drink away the movie, but you’ll never drink away those exploited young girls’ faces.