Critics of the Netflix movie Cuties have now drawn Barack and Michelle Obama into their attempts to get the movie removed, citing the pair’s influence at the streaming service.
A movement on the right to get the movie, which features 11-year-old girls dancing in sexually explicit poses, removed from the platform has led to subscription cancellations, with Neflix stock tumbling for five straight days due to the backlash.
Fox Business noted that “churn,” or the number of subscribers who choose not to renew their subscriptions at the end of the month, has hit multi-year highs and is eight times higher so far this month than in August.
A petition to get the movie off the platform has garnered 614,000 signatures so far.
What can the Obamas do?
According to The Federalist, the Obamas should exert their influence over the company they work for and get them to remove Cuties from their listings.
“At a time the left has declared that ‘silence is violence,’ Michelle Obama’s silence on Netflix’s controversial movie ‘Cuties’ has not gone unnoticed,” an op-ed co-written by Fox News’ Rachel Campos-Duffy and Evita Duffy said, calling her “complicit” if she doesn’t act. “It is also undermining her brand as ‘America’s mom’ and chief defender of female empowerment across the globe.”
The Obamas signed a $50 million production deal with Netflix last year, and they also have connections on the board of the streaming giant, including former campaign advisers Susan Rice and Ted Sarandos, so their influence could be considerable even outside their positions as the former leader of the free world and a best-selling book author who recently toured with Oprah Winfrey.
Movie is actually feminist, director says
Cuties tells the story of a Muslim girl who rebels against her conservative family by joining a dance troupe that engages in highly sexualized routines they learn on social media. Director Maimouna Doucoure said that the movie was intended to be a critique of oversexualizing preteen girls, and that the sexy scenes are not intended to looked at as a positive thing.
The movie has been well-received by critics and won the directing award at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, but got only an 11% fan score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The problem is, Doucoure’s message gets lost because she portrays the girls’ sexualization so well that the movie itself becomes a vehicle for their exploitation. It’s a fine line that many current movies and TV shows are beginning to cross despite their purported intentions.
As Live Action’s Lila Rose tweeted, “You don’t fight child exploitation by exploiting children. You don’t stop child pornography by creating, selling and distributing child pornography.” Will the Obamas, who have two daughters, see it that way and intervene to stop the movie?