Connect with us

Entertainment

Netflix Apologizes and Changes Marketing Materials for “Cuties” After Backlash

Published

on

  • Many accused Netflix of misrepresenting the French film “Cutie” and hypersexualizing children in its recent promotions for it.
  • Netflix has apologized and updated its marketing materials for the film, calling its previous poster and description “inappropriate.”
  • The film actually earned positive reviews and an award at the 2020 Sundance festival earlier this year, with some calling it a provocative coming of age film that raises questions about today’s “destruction of innocence.”
  • Still, issues were not just about marketing. Some feel the film is inappropriate, especially since it relies on young actresses to tell its story. As a result, many want Netflix to pull it from its Sept. 9th release.

What is “Cuties” About? 

Netflix apologized Thursday for how it promoted the French film “Cuties,” after widespread backlash online.

“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Cuties. It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which premiered at Sundance,” it said in a statement. “We’ve now updated the pictures and description.”

The film in question hasn’t actually come out on Netflix yet, and it’s set to release on September 9. However, if you’ve spent anytime online lately, you might have noticed people already bashing it, saying it sexualizes children and should be removed from the site. 

The film premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, earning the Directing Jury Award. According to early reviews, the movie revolves around an 11-year-old girl named Amy who comes from a traditional Senegalese Muslim household. She lives with her mother and two younger brothers in one of Paris’ poorest neighborhoods after immigrating from Senegal. As they wait for their father to meet up with them with a new second wife, Amy becomes intrigued by a group of girls in a Hip Hop dance group called the Cuties.

These appear to be a more rowdy group whose acceptance Amy desperately wants, which pushes her to explore her own femininity. However, her mother sees this intrigue and her daughter’s behavior as an opposition to her traditional values. 

Some have described it as a provocative coming of age film, and have argued that it was “designed to shock mature audiences into a contemplation of today’s destruction of innocence.”

Netflix Marketing Backlash, Explained

While it was generally well-received at Sundance, a lot of people aren’t happy with it right now.

Netflix published the trailer on Tuesday and began promoting it on its site with a poster and synopsis that earned it a wave of backlash. For example, many compared the French version of the poster for “Cuties” to the poster Netflix released, saying original aligns more with a typical coming of age film.

Others looked at the Netflix synopsis, which read: “Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions.”

By contract, the IMBD description reads: “Amy, an 11-year-old girl, joins a group of dancers named ‘the cuties’ at school, and rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity – upsetting her mother and her family values in the process.”

Many people noticed these differences and called out Netflix for what seemed like intentional decisions to hypersexualize children.

Almost immediately, many were uncomfortable by the film after seeing the Netflix poster, paired with its description and the fact that the film was given a TV-MA rating. To many, it really looks like a movie about 11-year-olds twerking that was made for adults.

Apparently even, 4chan users found the film so concerning that moderators have banned people from posting imagery from the project, saying anyone who does will be permanently banned.

“Netflix may allow this crap, 4chan does not,” the warning reads.

General Outrage Over Film’s Premise

All of this is not to say that the outrage is just about the marketing. There are many who are also just not fans of the film’s concept in general. In fact, there’s currently a change.org petition with more than 70,000 signatures asking for Netflix to remove the film because it “promotes child pornography.”

That petition also claims that it “was created for the entertainment of pedophiles.” 

Still, there are some positive reviews for “Cuties.” It currently has an 82% on Rotton Tomatoes based on 17 reviews. Plus, more and more people are starting to turn to a Cineurope interview the film’s writer and director, Maïmouna Doucouré, gave earlier this summer, which provides some insight into what inspired the project. 

In it, she said she came up with the concept after seeing “a group of young girls aged around 11 years old going up on stage and dancing in a very sensual way while wearing very revealing clothes” She said she was “shocked” and wondered “if they were aware of the image of sexual availability that they were projecting.” Meanwhile, in the audience, she noticed more traditional mothers, some wearing veils, adding: “it was a real culture shock.” 

“I was stunned and I thought back to my own childhood, because I’ve often asked myself questions about my own femininity, about evolving between two cultures, about my Senegalese culture which comes from my parents and my western culture. But I needed the 2020 version of that youth.”  To do that, she gathered stories from young girls to help create her film. 

Later in the interview, she said her film isn’t a health and safety ad. “This is most of all an uncompromising portrait of an 11-year-old girl plunged in a world that imposes a series of dictates on her. It was very important not to judge these girls, but most of all to understand them, to listen to them, to give them a voice, to take into account the complexity of what they’re living through in society, and all of that in parallel with their childhood which is always there, their imaginary, their innocence.”

However, she also added that during her research, she noticed how much social media had impacted young girls, saying: “Today, the sexier and the more objectified a woman is, the more value she has in the eyes of social media. And when you’re 11, you don’t really understand all these mechanisms, but you tend to mimic, to do the same thing as others in order to get a similar result. I think it is urgent that we talk about it, that a debate be had on the subject.”

After reading that, more people seem to understand what the goal of this film is, but others still think its inappropriate and take issue with a lot of the imagery, especially since these actors are also young girls. 

As of now, Netflix has not announced any plans to drop the film. It’s updated description currently reads: “Eleven-year-old Amy starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew.” 

See what others are saying: (The Observer) ( (Fox Business)  (Deadline)

Entertainment

Chris Evans Dismisses Reports of His Possible MCU Return

Published

on

  • Deadline published an article Thursday reporting that Chris Evans was in talks to return to his role as Captain American for at least one future Marvel production.
  • The news was unexpected as Evans retired from the role following 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame.”
  • After the rumor became a trending topic, Evans tweeted, “News to me.”

Deadline Reports Evans Is Coming Back to the MCU

According to Deadline, actor Chris Evans is in talks to return to his iconic role as Captain America in at least one upcoming Marvel project.

However, according to Evans himself, that rumor is “news to me.” 

Evans trended online Thursday following Deadline’s report, which stated that the actor could return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in up to two projects. 

Reportedly, the roles would not be for an Evans-led “Captain America” film; rather, they would be more akin to Robert Downey Jr’s role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe post-“Iron Man 3.”

Soon after Deadline reported Evans’ potential return, a number of other outlets jumped on the news.

Evans Said Goodbye To Captain America in 2019

Evans’ subsequent tweet appears to indicate that the actor has no plans to return as Captain America. 

Indeed, the reports of Evans’ return were unexpected as the actor has been vocal about 2019’s “Avengers: Endgamebeing his last outing as the character. 

“Officially wrapped on Avengers 4,” Evans said in 2018. “It was an emotional day to say the least. Playing this role over the last 8 years has been an honor. To everyone in front of the camera, behind the camera, and in the audience, thank you for the memories! Eternally grateful.”

In addition to Evans’ own desire to retire from the role, the character of Captain America (AKA, Steve Rogers) was given a firm conclusion in “Endgame.”

In its original article, Deadline explained that while Evans was initially adamant about not returning to the role, he has been more open to the idea in recent months. 

So far, Marvel has not confirmed or denied the reports, but it might not be unfathomable to think that Evans’ could return to the role at some point, even if Thursday’s rumors are false.

For example, Downey Jr. is set to briefly reprise his role as Iron Man in Scarlett Johansson’s upcoming “Black Widow,” despite Downey Jr also retiring from his role in “Endgame.”

See what others are saying: (The Hollywood Reporter) (CNET) (Insider)

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Warner Media Defends DC Films President Following Accusations From Ray Fisher

Published

on

  • Warner Media said it does not believe DC Films President Walter Hamada interfered with misconduct investigations on the set of reshoots for “Justice League.”
  • Ray Fisher, who plays Cyborg in DC films, previously alleged that director Joss Whedon created an abusive and unprofessional work environment on set, adding that Whedon was enabled by executives Geoff Johns and Jon Berg.
  • He also claimed Hamada tried to throw Whedon and Berg under the bus to protect Johns, who is his friend, despite knowing about his involvement in the issues.

Issues on the Set of The Justice League

Warner Media is standing by DC Film President Walter Hamada after actor Ray Fisher claimed the executive inferred with investigations into misconduct on the set of reshoots for “Justice League.”

Fisher has played Cyborg in “Justice League” and other DC projects. Back in July, he alleged that director Joss Whedon created a “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” work environment during reshoots for “Justice League.”

Whedon stepped in to replace Zack Snyder, who was originally directing the 2017 film until he had to leave because of a death in his family. 

Fisher says that Whedon’s behavior was enabled by Geoff Johns, who was the DC Entertainment president at the time before transitioning to a new role at Warner Brothers, as well as Jon Berg, who was the co-president of production at Warner Brothers until the end of 2017.

Warner opened an investigation into the claims and announced in December that it had concluded. The studio said remedial action had been taken but did not give details. Though, just weeks earlier, news broke that Whedon was leaving his show at HBO and Warner Media, effectively parting ways with the studio. 

The studio and Fisher sparred online throughout the investigation and after it was over. In September, “Aquaman” actor Jason Momoa showed support for Fisher and also claimed people on set were mistreated. 

“Serious stuff went down,” he wrote on Instagram. “It needs to be investigated and people need to be held accountable.”

“Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot eventually expressed support for Fisher’s choice to speak out in December. 

Fisher Claims Hamada Interfered in Investigation

Despite the investigation ending, Fisher still lodged complaints at the studio alleging that Hamada had interfered with the investigation in an effort to cover for Johns, who was a friend of his. At the end of 2020, Fisher said he did not want to work on any production involving Hamada. 

On Wednesday, he confirmed that Warner Bros. decided to remove Cyborg from the upcoming film “The Flash.” He said that while he disagreed, he was not surprised. 

“While I do mourn the lost opportunity to bring Victor Stone back to the screen, bringing awareness to the actions of Walter Hamada will prove to be a much more important contribution to our world,” he wrote. 

Fisher said that when he tried to escalate his concerns about Whedon, Johns, and Berg on the “Justice League” set to Hamada, Hamda attempted to throw Whedon and Berg under the bus to save Johns. Fisher said that he alerted Hamada that Johns was in fact involved with the issues at hand, but Hamada allegedly responded by asking for names of more witnesses and dismissing the claims. 

“Walter Hamada interfering with the ‘Justice League’ investigation is a completely separate issue than the investigation itself,” Fisher wrote. “And while Walter’s behavior was not a point of focus for the investigation of the ‘Justice League’ reshoots, his dangerous and enabling actions during the investigation process must be called to account.”

“No one, in any profession, should have to argue with their employer for their claims of abuse,” he continued before saying Hamada was “unfit” for a position in leadership. 

He said that if ending his tenure playing Cyborg was the price he had to pay to bring awareness to Hamada’s actions, that he would “pay it gladly.”

Warner Media Stands By Hamada

On Thursday morning Warner Media contradicted Fisher’s remarks and stood by Hamada. 

“I believe in Walter Hamada and that he did not impede or interfere in the investigation,” WarnerMedia chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff said in a statement. “Furthermore, I have full confidence in the investigation’s process and findings. Walter is a well-respected leader, known by his colleagues, peers, and me as a man of great character and integrity.”

Warner Media also said that they remain in business with Johns, who produces a number of projects at the studio. 

See what others are saying: (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Wrap) (Entertainment Weekly)

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Belle Delphine Responds To Outrage After Tweeting Out Graphic Photos

Published

on

  • Adult content creator Belle Delphine sparked outrage after tweeting graphic sexual photos of herself roleplaying a kidnapping situation.
  • Many accused her of glorifying rape and even pedophilia, arguing that she was dressed like a child. Others criticized her for not including a content warning and potentially triggering assault survivors.
  • Delphine issued a statement refusing to apologize, saying, “There is nothing wrong with enjoying powerplay and BDSM where both people are consensual.” She also said those who require trigger warnings before posts should not follow her.

CONTENT WARNING: The photos in this article and the discussion around
them involve explicit sexual content, rape, and kidnapping.

Belle Delphine Sparks Outrage

Adult content creator Belle Delphine received immediate backlash Tuesday after tweeting out graphic sexual photos of herself roleplaying as an apparent kidnapping victim.

“My perfect first date,” she captioned her post. The photos show Delphine in the back of a car with her legs and wrists bound by ropes. Her mouth is also covered by duct tape. In one specific image, a man who appears to be her “kidnapper” is having sex with her against a tree in the woods.

Soon after posting the photos, Twitter users accused her of fetishizing and glorifying rape. Some even argued that she was glorifying pedophilia as well because she appeared to be dressed like a child.

Though Delphine faced intense criticism, others also argued that she was posting pictures of a practice known as consensual non-consent and should not be facing this much backlash for it.

That type of defense was slammed as well, with critics saying there were still other problems with her post. For instance, many noted that her tweet did not include a content or trigger warning. They described that choice as irresponsible given the explicit nature of the photos, which could bring pain to rape and assault survivors. 

Others argued that even though this situation was consensual, without the context, some might see these photos and internally normalize rape. They also noted that people who see the images might not be aware or any safe words or other signals that could have been agreed upon beforehand.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Delphine Defends Herself

Delphine addressed the backlash Wednesday, saying she is “not sorry.”

“There is nothing wrong with enjoying powerplay and BDSM where both people are consensual. I think saying because I enjoy consensual non-consent is promoting rape, is the same as the argument that violence in video games promotes violence,” she wrote.

“I made it very clear in the caption of my photo, and anything written about it that I was enjoying it and that is was consensual, I never said the word rape, or anything against my will. This is what other people have put onto it.”

She also said it was “insane” to her that people thought she was dressed like a child. She described the outfit as “vintage” and said that other people dress like this all the time.

“If it’s about how I genetically look I can’t change that and I will not apologize for it either nor will I stop being sexual since I am a sexually active adult,” she added.

“No one likes rape, no one wants rape to exist,” she continued. “Saying that I support rape is the same as saying that 50% of the female population does, because if you look at statistics based upon this (from studies done over the last 30 years, including new studies) 31-61% of women have powerplay/rape fantasies in the exact same way. I consented to being tied up and to having rough sex.”

Delphine said that the front page of porn sites has every “fantasy scenario” a person can think of, from incest to teacher to stepmom and that one of the most common sexual fantasies is a schoolgirl. 

“Just because someone likes the fantasy of something, doesn’t mean they want it in real life. Sex is complex and explorative, but should always be consensual,” she wrote. 

When it comes to people upset that she did not include a trigger warning, she said that because her job involves this kind of content, people who would be upset by this should not follow here. 

“My whole Twitter/OnlyFans have constant themes of kink since I do porn as a job and I will not put a trigger warning on all of my posts,” she said. “Do not follow me if you require trigger warnings before posts.”

See what others are saying: (LadBible) (RT) (Distractify)

Continue Reading