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Cuties

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Warning! This article is NSFW!

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Cuties
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A perfect 101 on how to mix these abominations into something equally bad, if not worse.
Genre: Drama • Comedy • Coming-of-age • Erotic
Directed By: Maïmouna Doucouré
Produced By: Zangro
Written By: Maïmouna Doucouré
Starring: Fathia Youssouf
Médina El Aidi-Azouni
Esther Gohourou
Ilanah Cami-Goursolas
Maïmouna Gueye
Cinematography: Yann Maritaud
Distributed By: BAC Films (France)
Netflix (International)
Release Date: January 23, 2020 (Sundance)
August 19, 2020 (France)
September 9, 2020 (United States)
Runtime: 95 minutes
Country: France
Language: French
Budget: €4 million ($4.7 million)
Box Office: €491,277 ($582,876)


"This is just Fifty Shades of Grey for pedophiles."
BriZ


Cuties (French: Mignonnes) is a 2020 French "coming-of-age comedy-drama" film written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré in her feature directorial debut.

Plot

Eleven-year-old immigrant girl Amy, originally hailing from Senegal, which is one of Paris's poorest neighborhoods, lives with her mother Mariam in an apartment along with her two younger brothers, waiting for her father to rejoin the family from Senegal. Things turn swiftly as Amy is fascinated by her disobedient neighbor Angelica's twerking clique known as "Cuties", an adult-style dance troupe that has contrasting fortunes and characteristics to Mariam's Islamic customs, values, and traditions.

Pourquoi ce n'est pas mignon (Why It's so Not Cute)

Important note: This film is extremely controversial, for promoting child porn and pedophilia. As we ourselves are against child porn and pedophilia, we advise you to NOT add any redeeming qualities to this article, especially since it was recently discovered to still be on Netflix to this day. Anyone on this wiki who does so will have their edit reverted. However, on this page, we actually did use to add redeeming qualities of this film right from before (somehow), but as of now (even earlier before you actually saw this page), we don't add them anymore. Because this is due to it promoting child porn and pedophilia. So, never re-add them like we did before (by mistake).

  1. For the most obvious of starters, it uses actual filmed footage of sexualized underage girls who also do scripted sexual acts (and no, saying that they made it this way to spread awareness of pedophilia doesn't change the fact that it's pedophilia). All of this is legally considered child sexual exploitation, a serious crime in most countries including France and worldwide:
    • In one scene, one of the female child dancers lifts her cropped top to fully display her bare breast.
    • An eleven-year-old girl watches a rap music video in which nude women roleplay through sexual dance acts, both heterosexual and homosexual. An eleven-year-old female dance group then mimics these acts via on themselves and each other.
    • When Angelica is first seen, the camera is watching her from behind whilst she is dancing in leather leggings as if she were in an Ariana Grande music video; when she turns around, the viewer immediately notices that she is a child.
    • The camera repeatedly zooms in on minors' bodies, within one instance, the camera glancing at Amy's panty-exposed buttocks after her pair of tight leather pants are forcefully pulled down in the midst of a scuffle between two other girls.
    • One girl slaps Amy's buttocks and criticizes them for being flat.
    • Amy gets pantsed in public and we can only see her in her underwear.
    • Coumba blows into a used condom thinking that it's a balloon. Then she sticks it in her shirt.
    • One disturbing scene has Amy dancing in just her vest and underwear.
    • In another scene, the girls run into what appears to be a bar and get in trouble with security guards, with the threat of their parents being called; the girls convince them that they are dancers, with Amy "proving it" by dancing and twerking... and the security guard allows the girls to leave.
    • Before the movie was released, the director had to audition over 800 girls to twerk to see who gets the roles.
    • There is a scene where Amy steals her cousin's phone and posts a nude photo, and this scene also has other problems:
      1. Stealing her cousin's phone was a terrible thing to do for obvious reasons, and the fact that she was posting a nude photo makes it even worse.
      2. It was never brought up again in the film which makes the only reason this scene exist mainly for fetish.
  2. The title itself (a direct translation of the original French-language title) is already a red flag.
  3. Hypocrisy: As mentioned before, the film claims to have an anti-pedophilic message, which is that "sexualizing minors is wrong", when the film actually came across as entirely participating in and promoting pedophilia by using actual filmed footage of sexualized minors. For this message to work properly, they wouldn't have filmed sexualized young girls or them doing inappropriate acts at all.
  4. Outside of the filmed footage of sexualized children, both the acting and dialogue are really poor, especially for the English dub.
  5. Even if one can ignore that they contain filmed footage of sexualized children, the dance scenes are rather cringe-worthy to watch.
  6. The characterization is very poor and sexist:
    1. Amy, the main protagonist, is extremely unlikable as she does just about "anything" to fit in, even in an overly sexualized way, she also stabs a student with a pencil, pushes someone into the lake to the tip as she blankly watches her drown, and scoffs at her own mother after falling. What pours the salt onto the wound is that she doesn't receive any comeuppance for her actions, and the movie expects the viewers to sympathize with her.
      • Amy is supposed to be the sympathetic protagonist who was constantly mistreated by the mean popular girls of her school and is now going down a path by rebelling against her family and their traditions, but the way she was written was so poorly done that it made it really difficult for audiences to root for her due to all her horrible actions as mentioned above, and therefore she comes off as a complete jerk who is a selfish spoiled brat who does a lot of heinous, amoral and unlikable acts which would fit right in the antagonistic role.
    2. Angelica is also a generic mean popular girl who is the cause of Amy's unlikable personality.
      • This can also be said about Coumba and Jess and to a lesser extent, Yasmine.
    3. The strict and concerned parents who are trying to reason and discipline their children are depicted as the main antagonists of the film even though they all had good intentions (particularly Amy's mother, Mariam).
    4. The male background characters are all portrayed as pedophilic, forgettable, or treated as child predators.
  7. Really ugly and unbearably disgusting cinematography that would make you want to vomit if you would look at them for several minutes, with the film containing many instances in which the camera literally zooms in on either the rear ends of eleven-year-olds twerking or the bodies of the aforementioned eleven-year-olds.
  8. Many scenes serve no reason to be in the movie, other than to needlessly pad out the runtime and therefore serve as filler in genral.
    • One scene features Amy and her friends doing... duck lips, which is just cringe-worthy.[1]
  9. The film is also anti-Muslim propaganda, as the Muslim character, Amy, is shown as needing to be "saved" from her religion.
    • Speaking of anti-Muslim propaganda, there's a scene where Amy uses her hijab during praying with her family to cover herself and hide the fact that she's using her phone which is not only stupid because nobody ever does that, but also because it's impossible to do something like this without being noticed.
  10. Misleading poster: The original French poster gives off the illusion that it is a fun, family-friendly film when it could not be any further from the truth.
    • Unlike most exploitation films such as A Serbian Film, Showgirls and Reefer Madness, it tries to look innocent and play like one as if it is never aware that it is something that needs to be banned.
  11. There is one scene, yes, even the first scene in the trailer and the same scene we mentioned earlier, where Angelica uses a flat iron instead of a hair dryer or hair iron for her hair. While this implies that she cannot afford an actual hair iron (which itself is laughable, since affordable hair irons exist), not only does this ruin your hair, but it is also very dangerous.
  12. The dialogue is pretty laughable.
  13. Because of the negative reception of this film (even though the critic reviews of this film are positive, which proves that some film critics aren't any smarter than game journalists nowadays) and Mötley Crüe's The Dirt, needless to say, Netflix became hated and infamous for defending the film, the rate of Netflix subscription cancellations in the United States increased significantly, all to the point where this film ruined Netflix's reputation as a whole, that is, until they released Squid Game, All Of Us Are Dead, Juvenille Justice, Close Enough, Inside Job, Midnight Mass, Lucifer, the Fear Street trilogy, Trese, Arcane: League of Legends, Inventing Anna, Alrawabi School for Girls, One of Us Is Lying, Peaky Blinders, The Adam Project, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean, America: The Motion Picture, Kid Cosmic, Hilda, Komi Can't Communicate and The Cuphead Show!, all of which made them popular again.
  14. The film overall makes the French film industry look bad for the said reasons, which is not true in any way, that is until Where Is Anne Frank and My Father's Secret came out a year later and receive higher ratings and better reviews than Cuties.

Reception

Upon release, Cuties was praised by critics, but was universally panned by audiences, and caused a divide between critics and audiences due to its large amount of sexual content about minors. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a critic score of 86% based on 80 reviews with an average rating of 7/10 and its consensus reading, "A thoughtful look at the intricacies of girlhood in the modern age, Cuties is a coming-of-age film that confronts its themes with poignancy and nuance", while it has an audience score of 16% based on 2,500 ratings with an average rating of 1.3/5, though the latter can be partially attributed to review-bombing. On Metacritic, the film has a Metascore of 68/100 based on 14 critic reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews", while its user score is 0.7 out of 10 based on 456 ratings, indicating "overwhelming dislike". Mary Mcnamara of The Los Angeles Times described the film as "a powerful portrait of female rage". On IMDB the movie holds a 3.4/10. On Google, only 7% of people approved of the movie.

The release of the film gave rise to the #CancelNetflix movement. It has also, as mentioned, resulted in a sharp increase in the rate of Netflix subscription cancellations in the United States, as well as a decline in Netflix's stock value. U.S. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri has even called on Netflix to remove the film, while U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas called for the Department of Justice to investigate Netflix. Representative and former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii spoke out against the film as well, tweeting "@netflix child porn 'Cuties' will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking in children. It happened to my friend's 13-year-old daughter. Netflix, you are now complicit. #CancelNetflix". Christine Pelosi, daughter of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, stated that Cuties "hypersexualizes girls my daughter's age no doubt to the delight of pedophiles like the ones I prosecuted."

The director of the film, Maïmouna Doucouré has handled the film's criticism poorly, as she not only has defended the film but even had the audacity to claim that the film was made to promote feminism and diversity.

Controversy and criticism

On August 18, 2020, Netflix unveiled the international trailer and poster for the film. It received huge backlash worldwide due to the description and the poster allegedly sexualizing eleven-year-old girls, coming across as more of a film promoting pedophilia rather than denouncing it. Even 4chan and other imageboards got in on the action and banned stills and footage from Cuties from their sites. The trailer for the film is the most disliked video on the Netflix official YouTube channel. Prior to the removal of public dislike counts from YouTube videos, it was also among the 50 most disliked YouTube videos, with 2.2 million dislikes as of 2021.

In response, Netflix redacted the poster and description, stating "We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. 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."

The controversy led to Doucouré receiving numerous death threats and personal attacks directed towards her Twitter account, forcing her to shut it down.

In addition, Cuties is banned in Turkey, and is being evaluated in Pakistan, for its explicit imagery. Also, the uncut version of Cuties was banned in Australia, so they had to edit it to get it an MA-15+ rating (the Oceanian version of the R rating).

Impact

After the release of the trailer and film, Netflix lost almost $10 billion in stock. Netflix's renewals decreased, and cancellations increased eightfold. The movie even got Netflix indicted by the state of Texas, citing that the film "depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age... and has no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."

Trivia

  • This film was the topic of discussion among actual pedophiles from the forum Rapey.co (a website infamous for hosting pedophiles, rapists, and even murderers) before release.
  • Many people on websites like Newgrounds and DeviantArt showcased their hatred towards this film, from Anti-Cuties stamps to posting hate art like brutally torturing Maïmouna Doucouré, Amber Heard and the CEO Ted Sarandos, who defended the film, like throwing them into a wood chipper and having the former's corpses devoured.[2]
  • This film has been used as a meme source to mock Discord and Reddit users with very unhealthy interests.
  • As mentioned above, the official trailer for the film is currently the 50th most disliked video on YouTube and the most disliked video on the official Netflix channel.
  • Ted Sarandos (Netflix's CEO)'s action of defending this trainwreck is about as misunderstood as releasing a wild tiger in a crowded area or letting a serial killer out of jail.
  • Netflix's CEO would later delete Dave Chappelle's host because they consider it inappropriate for making fun of transgenders, which would make people hate Netflix more for hypocrisy since they consider a joke as inappropriate but see the movie Cuties as acceptable.
  • This film was mocked in the Helluva Boss episode "C.H.E.R.U.B.", where Blitzo rips the costume off a mall Santa to reveal an obese pedophile with a #Cuties T-shirt.
  • Due to the film's negative reception and controversy, Cuties never got a DVD or Blu-ray release in the United States.
  • The Satire Journalist site "Babylon Bee" made a satire article about how there's a movie that has dogs that actually got killed during filming where the main goal is to spread awareness of animal cruelty, making fun of the movie Cuties.
  • Due to the film's pedophilia content, discussion about the film was banned in 4chan, a website ironically known for pedophilia.
  • Doucouré spent nearly 18 months researching studies on how young and pre-teen children are being exposed to adult content and sexualised images on social media in order to showcase the accurate reality in the film. She spoke to many young girls about these issues. She says that the film deals with self-image and social media. "Our girls see that the more a woman is overly sexualised on social media, the more she's successful. And the children just imitate what they see, trying to achieve the same result without understanding the meaning, and yeah, it's dangerous." She says that although watching the film may be difficult, it is important to have a conversation in society about these issues".

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