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[COMMENTARY] Be Skeptical of the Netflix Cancel Culture Controversy Over “Cuties” Film

Netflix has become subject of the latest cancel culture wave over a recent film called Cuties.

The controversy has led to many subscribers ending their relationship with the streaming company. According to Axios, Netflix saw five times the amount of cancellations in the last month compared to the previous 30 days.

Critics claimed that the film over-sexualized young girls. The film director, Maimouna Doucoure, a french women, says the film denounces the hyper-sexualization of young girls.

The New York Times summarized the film as such:

The film, which was released as “Mignonnes” in France and won a directing award from the Sundance Institute in February, follows an 11-year-old girl named Amy (Fathia Youssouf) as she tries to find her place growing up in a poor suburb of Paris. At home, Amy has to please her family, who are observant Muslims from Senegal, but she eventually falls in with a group of friends who have their own dance troupe in defiance of her family’s strict rules.

Maïmouna Doucouré, the film’s director, said in an interview with Netflix that the movie incorporated elements of her own childhood in its portrayal of Amy’s struggles between two distinct modes of femininity: one dictated by the traditional values of her Senegalese and Muslim upbringing, the other by Western society.

The claims coming from social media do not match the intentions of the director or the film. Cuties is trying to paint a realistic picture of the reality many young women face. And a realistic depiction of life should not ever be gone after with cancel culture. The depiction of truth is our friend, not an enemy.

There was an interesting divergence in the reception in France versus America. In France, there was no negative reaction whatsoever. In America, #CancelNetflix trended on Twitter and was pumped up by an interesting group of people.

The New York Times said that the calls to remove the film were propped up by supporters of a conspiracy theory that think notable Democrats and celebrities are behind a global child trafficking ring.

To no one’s surprise, Republicans seconded the conspiracy theorists’ views.

Senator Ted Cruz sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr asking the Justice Department to investigate Netflix. However, a Cruz spokesperson said he had not seen the film.

Everyone take a second and think. Does anyone have anything to gain from the downfall of Netflix? Yes, the Republicans and Donald Trump.

Netflix has recently released a bold film called the Social Dilemma. Here is the company’s description of the film on Youtube.

We tweet, we like, and we share— but what are the consequences of our growing dependence on social media? As digital platforms increasingly become a lifeline to stay connected, Silicon Valley insiders reveal how social media is reprogramming civilization by exposing what’s hiding on the other side of your screen.

Senator Ted Cruz sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr asking the Justice Department to investigate Netflix. However, a Cruz spokesperson said he had not seen the film.

Everyone take a second and think. Does anyone have anything to gain from the downfall of Netflix? Yes, the Republicans and Donald Trump.

Netflix has recently released a bold film called the Social Dilemma. Here is the company’s description of the film on Youtube.

We tweet, we like, and we share— but what are the consequences of our growing dependence on social media? As digital platforms increasingly become a lifeline to stay connected, Silicon Valley insiders reveal how social media is reprogramming civilization by exposing what’s hiding on the other side of your screen.

The trailer of the film talks about how Facebook was able to manipulate consumer’s behavior without the consumer itself knowing.

If you are not familiar, Donald Trump was elected with the help of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. Cambridge Analytica downloaded everyone’s data from Facebook and then built psychology profiles of Americans. It then identified persuadable voters, bombarded them with ads, and changed their behavior in order to help Trump win the 2016 election.

Netflix’s most recent documentary, the Social Dilemma, will dilute the public opinion of social media companies, which Facebook basically owns a monopoly. If Facebook’s image takes a bad turn before the election, Trump will be in trouble.

At this point in time, the connection between Donald Trump, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg seems undeniable. The calls to cancel Netflix might just align with the interests of the Trump campaign in order to silence the Social Dilemma which was just released and by hurting Netflix’s brand image.

Bloomberg also posted a story on Thursday with the title “Facebook needs Trump even more than Trump needs Facebook.”

About Ryan Lipton

Ryan is a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in Business Journalism. He has written in the past for SB Nation’s Silver and Black Pride, USA Today Sports Media Group, North Carolina Business News Wire, the Daily Tar Heel, and has worked with Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league. Ryan is also a regular contributor to MeidasTouch.com

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