PTC Says Netflix’s Cuties Perpetuates Sexualization of Children

Written by PTC | Published September 10, 2020

LOS ANGELES (September 10, 2020) – After reviewing the Netflix film Cuties, the Parents Television Council stands by its earlier criticism that the TV-MA-rated film sexualizes children. After an outcry about the film’s marketing material that used a highly sexualized image of pubescent girls in suggestive dance poses, Netflix apologized and replaced the art with one that was more innocent.

“By removing the offensive poster and replacing it with a more innocuous one, Netflix might actually have made the situation worse by suggesting that Cuties is nothing more than a cute, coming-of-age movie. Although the film tackles an important topic – one that under different circumstances we might even applaud – it’s the way the film goes about it that’s problematic. This film could have been a powerful rebuke of popular culture that sexualizes children and robs them of their innocence,” said Melissa Henson, program director for the Parents Television Council.

“But these young actresses were sexualized in the making of this movie. In addition to being coached and trained in highly sexualized dance routines, these girls use foul, vulgar language like ‘f*ck,’ ‘b*tch,’ and ‘t*ts.’ They are made to wear revealing clothing. Amy [the main character] is shown pulling her pants and underpants down so she can photograph her genitals to post online. In another scene Amy attempts to seduce a grown man – a family member, no less -- to get out of trouble for stealing his cell phone. This child actress, in a scene with a grown man, removes her jacket and begins to remove her pants before being pushed away. These girls are shown thrusting their pelvises to simulate sex, and ‘humping’ the floor. And none of this was necessary to show to critique the sexualization of children.

“Although there is a danger that little girls will be attracted to this film – the far greater risk is the way this film normalizes the sexualization of little girls.

“Netflix and its board of directors are getting rich off of this kind of content. Worse, they are desensitizing millions of viewers at home by asking them to be entertained by it,” Henson added.

Take Action. Stay Informed.