Artwork is commonly controversial, however one latest addition to the Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) catalog is stirring up some probably undesirable consideration. Cuties — a French coming-of-age movie with a culture-clash bent a couple of Senegalese lady in France with a conservative Muslim upbringing making an attempt to click on together with her new dance group — is coming beneath fireplace from naysayers arguing the movie sexualizes its 11-year-old characters.
Cuties is much from the raciest factor you will notice on Netflix starring minors, however some grassroots actions have a approach of getting firms entangled within the weeds. Subscription analytics firm ANTENNA reported final week that its pattern monitoring of the main streaming service finds Netflix cancellations within the first 5 days since Cuties’ Sept. 9 debut have been 5 occasions the variety of defections the platform skilled within the earlier 30 days. It is a fairly jarring statistic, however like knocking a film lots of the #CancelNetflix hashtag-wielding critics in all probability have not seen, you do not actually have the entire story right here.
Picture supply: Getty Pictures.
Netflix did not do itself any favors by hyping the movie final month forward of this month’s premiere with suggestive photographs and a film description calling the dance competitors that serves because the movie’s climax a “twerking contest.” Netflix went on to repair these preliminary miscues, however the boobirds solely grew louder.
The factor about Cuties is that it got here to Netflix with a good diploma of crucial acclaim. It received an award at Sundance earlier this yr, and 85% of the movie critics tracked by critiques aggregator Rotten Tomatoes advocate the movie.
There’s mounting stress for taking Cuties off the air, however it’s additionally simple to see why Netflix is not flinching. The international movie has received international accolades, and it additionally appears as if numerous the loudest criticisms are coming from people who have not seen the film.
It is not a film for youths. It is a film for adults about youngsters. It is in the identical spirit as Eighth Grade, Mid90s, and Good Boys in regards to the pressures of going by puberty and rising up in trendy occasions, solely this time set in France with a tradition conflict elevating the stakes. There are moments in Cuties that may be awkward and uncomfortable — lots like rising up — however the entire flirtations go unrequited.
Will Netflix remorse distributing Cuties? We’ll discover out in a lower than a month. Netflix studies monetary outcomes for the quarter that ends this month on Oct. 20. It is daunting to listen to that U.S. cancellations are surging, however that is not an entire image. Most of Netflix’s progress in recent times has come from its abroad growth, and #CancelNetflix is a stateside phenomenon. A whopping 62% of Netflix subscribers — and a fair bigger share of its progress — stems from members exterior of the U.S. and Canada.
We additionally do not know if Cuties is the one trigger for the reported spike in cancellations. The brand new college yr began, film theaters have reopened, and stay-at-home restrictions are beginning be relaxed. Leisure choices and diversions have ramped up in September. Individuals who may have paused their memberships in protest of Cuties must be again when a present or film they wish to try debuts on Netflix.
Netflix cannot reverse this place. For each subscriber that bolted earlier this month there doubtless could be extra if Netflix have been to start out censoring its content material primarily based on the whims of trending hashtags on social media. Netflix would additionally lose credibility with studios if it caved on the matter, and — sure — that is each inch a media firm today. Netflix will recover from the Cuties cancellations, and we’ll know in a number of weeks if it was even a factor this month.
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Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Idiot owns shares of and recommends Netflix. The Motley Idiot has a disclosure coverage.
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