‘Cuties’ film blocked on Netflix by Turkey’s media watchdog amid child sexualisation backlash

French film found itself at the centre of controversy following criticism of its promotional poster on Netflix

Annabel Nugent
Friday 04 September 2020 16:04 BST
Cuties trailer

Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog will order Netflix to block local access to French film Cuties, on the grounds that it contains images of child exploitation.

The ruling comes after Turkey’s Family Ministry requested that the board evaluate the film’s potential impact on children.

Reuters reported that Radio and Television High Council (RTUK) announced that the verdict to block the film’s screening was “decided unanimously”.

It was determined that the film contained “exploitation and abuse” which “might lead to potential child exploitation behaviour patterns”.

Cuties, titled Mignonnes in France, became the subject of controversy after Netflix was accused of sexualising 11-year-old girls in its promotional poster for the film, which was vastly different from the French version.

(Netflix (Netflix)

Recently, director Maïmouna Doucouré said she received death threats after Netflix released the tone-deaf poster for her film.

The streaming giant ended up removing it and issuing an apology for the “inappropriate” artwork.

Doucouré told Deadline she received a private apology from Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s co-CEO, after the incident.

The movie, which won a directing award at the Sundance Film Festival this year, tells the story of an 11-year-old Muslim girl who “starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free-spirited dance crew”.

The decision to block the screening of Cuties in Turkey follows recent media reports of Turkish government interference in another Netflix series titled If Only, due to the show’s inclusion of a gay character.

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