"Why I'm Boycotting Netflix" by Luke Gover
Recently the streaming service Netflix caught massive amounts of backlash for releasing a movie called “Cuties”. The movie is not about the delicious mandarin-oranges, but rather something much more disturbing. To cut to the chase, the movie should be removed due to it showing explicit scenes involving underage children. Some call it child-porn, some call it a “A thoughtful look at the intricacies of girlhood in the modern age”. I’ve refused to watch the movie itself, but I have done my fair amount of research on whether said backlash is simply an exaggeration or not.
Let’s begin with how a typical Netflix user decides to watch a movie. They’re browsing around the home page and realize Netflix had just uploaded “Cuties” with the following poster:
Naturally, they think to themselves “this movie looks disgusting” “Ah, finally a movie that captures the intricacies of girlhood in the modern age”. They decide to watch the movie, which begins with an 11 year old girl from Senegal named Amy. Amy comes from a conservative household, which is vehemently against such open sexualization of women, let alone children. Amy then meets a group of girls who are practicing for a dance competition, and adopts their strongly suggestive dance moves. What could such dance moves be you might wonder? A few images below:
These are just a few small moments of “twerking” I chose to share within the movie, mind you. Contiuniting on with our story, our typical netflix viewer in this case sees nothing wrong with these scenes, and in fact deems them as strongly against the sexualization of young women. Yet finally they come across one of the final dance scenes, which has been the most controversial. Yes, picture below:
Now you as the reader might be thinking I found the one short frame where they accidentally showed child genitalia, but you would be painfully wrong. The clip itself is all over the internet, and it is a long, slow pan on her genitalia.
As for our hypothetical Netflix Viewer, hopefully they had the stark realization that this movie actually sexualized real prepubescent children. Maybe later they hopped on Twitter and saw that Netflix wrote the following to ease their mind:
How could such a film win an award at any major film festival? Well it is quite the coincidence that Sterling Van Wagenen, Oscar-winning filmmaker and co-founder of the Sundance Film Festival, was charged with sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl just last year.
Netflix still refuses to remove the movie despite the outrage, and it’s possibly because many viewers truly think it is against the sexualization of children. How they reached that conclusion is beyond my comprehension. Something must be done, and I am not watching Netflix until it is. I ask you to join me by sharing this article, and encouraging your friends to join the boycott.
I had a difficult time putting this article together, and struggled with whether by doing so I was promoting pedophilia. I came to the conclusion that the images are already out there. I simply put them in context so that hopefully streaming services like Netflix, and film producers know they can not get away with this.