When Maïmouna Doucouré’s Cuties poster was first released to the public in September, it received an extreme amount of backlash for hyper-sexualizing young girls. Due to this, there was a petition demanding Netflix to remove the film and a large number of subscribers left the streaming platform. Although many bashed the film, others thought it was misunderstood. According to Cinema Blend, despite the harsh reaction, the film may still be nominated for an Oscar in 2021.
Cuties is a french coming-of-age film about an eleven-year-old girl named Amy (Fathia Youssouf) who begins to rebel against her family’s traditions when she becomes absorbed with a group of girls who are in a dance crew. The young girls in the film idolize older women dancers and are often dressed and appear much older than eleven years old. According to Newsweek, The National Center on Sexual Exploitation condemned Netflix for giving a film “that has permitted the sexual exploitation of children”. Although the film received hate, France has just decided on its shortlist for the 2021 Academy Awards, and Doucouré’s Cuties is one of them. Cuties is among the country’s list of five films it will submit for the category of Best International Feature. Later this week, the selection committee will meet and make their final decision.