Opinion: Cancel Netflix. They earned it.

Tara Lynn Thompson
Contributing Columnist

In August, Netflix released their sexualized poster for the movie, “Cuties.” When it was met with revulsion and disgust, they apologized and assured everyone it did not faithfully represent their upcoming French Film. 

The original “Cuties” poster on the right, replaced by the one on the left.

They lied. 

The poster downplayed it. 

This week, “Cuties,” a movie about 11-year-old twerking dancers, was released. And now the world knows Netflix has no problem peddling in child pornography. That isn’t up to interpretation. IMDB described it as “lawfully defined as pedophilia” until #CancelNetflix started trending. Then the description disappeared. 

What has unfolded last week in the entertainment industry has been a coordinated effort to gaslight the general public into believing a movie with little girls twerking, touching themselves, writhing on the floor, bending over and slapping their own butt, taking pictures of their genitalia to post publicly, and dancing suggestively for grown men is a “coming of age” movie that gives a “sensitive portrait of growing pains,” according to Rolling Stone. When the cameras obsessively zoomed in on their crotch, their gyrating butt, their twerking on all fours, and their suggestive moves while sticking their fingers in their mouths, it was “a thoughtful look at the intricacies of girlhood in the modern age” that confronts “its themes with poignancy and nuance,” according to Rotten Tomatoes

I am a girl. This is not part of our story. 

“Cuties” isn’t the next “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” This is child exploitation. And the movie critics loved it. 

In the #metoo era, which aggressively though ineffectually battles against the sexual exploitation of women (until Cardi B makes up for any ground gained), we are now laudably celebrating the sexual exploitation of children. 

Let me know when you make sense of it. I haven’t. 

Criticism of this film has been chalked up to a “right-wing campaign,” according to The New Yorker. Because only conservatives hate pedophilia? Are they sure that’s the narrative they want?

The New Yorker writer Richard Brody, who celebrates little girls acting like strippers, said the film had been targeted by a “scurrilous campaign” and an “inaccurate description,” while stating the movie is the opposite of child sexualization. 

So…it’s a movie that sexualizes children to address the issues of sexualizing children. Next, Netflix will be addressing the issues of environmental catastrophes by dumping 290,000 tons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico and filming it. 

Child exploitation isn’t a storytelling tool, it’s a global pandemic. In the last month alone, authorities have rescued 39 children in Georgia (ages 3 to 17), 25 in Ohio, and 8 in Indiana (ages 6 to 17). As #SaveTheChildren keeps this horror from being ignored, Hollywood promotes a film that child groomers would give two enthusiastic thumbs up. 


But, maybe we can’t expect Hollywood to recognize the filth of its own stink. Pedophilia has been the worst kept secret in the entertainment industry for decades. Only in the last few years has the abuse been addressed by victimized child stars, now grown, like Corey Feldman, Todd Bridges, and Alex Winter, along with many stories chronicled in documentaries like “An Open Secret” and “Showbiz Kids.” 

As Netflix stock continues to fall, will they remove the movie? So far, no. They responded to the backlash by calling it “an award-winning film and a powerful story,” referring to the film’s Sundance award. Of course, no one talks about the history of that award. One of the original co-founders of the Sundance Film Festival is currently serving prison time for child molestation

If telling powerful stories that address social issues now requires the sacrifice of innocence, then Hollywood is full of talentless hacks. Perverse, talentless hacks. I have laundry that can write better. 

Cancel Netflix. They earned it.

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