Sen. Hawley suggests Netflix defend controversial 'Cuties' film before Congress
Outrage over its controversial scenes caused the hashtag #CancelNetflix to trend on social media
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., informally invited Netflix to discuss its controversial "Cuties" film "before Congress" in a Thursday tweet.
Hawley's suggestion came in response to a Twitter post about Netflix's defense of the film, which the streaming service described as award-winning and characterized as a "social commentary against the sexualization of young children."
"Great," Hawley wrote in a tweet. "Maybe Netflix would like to come talk this over before Congress."
"Cuties," directed by Maïmouna Doucouré, is a 2020 coming-of-age film with close-up shots of young girls dancing suggestively in scanty outfits.
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Outrage over the film and its controversial scenes caused the hashtag #CancelNetflix to trend on social media on Thursday, with users calling on others to boycott the streaming service in protest.
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A Netflix spokeswoman told Fox News the film is a "powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up – and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie."
Netflix previously apologized for "inappropriate artwork" the company used for the "Cuties" movie poster, which sparked criticism on social media in August.
The artwork "was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which premiered at Sundance," Netflix said at the time. "We’ve now updated the pictures and description."
More than 360,000 people have signed a petition to have "Cuties" removed from Netflix.
Doucouré told entertainment magazine Deadline that death threats were made against her after Netflix's movie poster for "Cuties" went viral.
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"I received numerous attacks on my character from people who had not seen the film," she added, "who thought I was actually making a film that was apologetic about hypersexualization of children."
The French-Senegalese director added that the movie is her "personal story, as well as the story of many children who have to navigate between a liberal western culture and a conservative culture at home."
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