AN online campaign to boycott Netflix for streaming a French film which critics claim sexualises children had become one of the biggest trending topics on Twitter.
There were some 200,000 tweets featuring #CancelNetflix (remove Netflix) on Thursday which slammed the streaming service for showing “Mignonnes”, which translates into something like “cuties”.
The movie written and directed by French-Senagalese Maïmouna Doucoure tells the story of an 11-year old Senegalese girl from a traditional Muslim family living in one of the poorest parts of Paris with her mother and brothers. She becomes fascinated by a twerking dance group set up by a bunch of youngsters in her neighbourhood, who emulate the often very suggestive moves they see pop stars doing.
The film premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in January this year, earning Doucoure a directing award. It was released in French cinemas by BAC Films last month and then internationally on Netflix on September 9.
The streaming channel’s visual to promote Mignonnes had already sparked off criticism, prompting the service to remove it and to apologise for it being “inappropriate.”
But since the film has been released there has been a storm of anger on social media from all political sides.
Comment after comment argues the film is sexualising 11-year olds, that it represents the sexual exploitation of children or even that it is nothing short of child pornography.
The director maintains her film draws on her own experience and “exposes the hypersexualisation of pre-teens.”
She said she was “disappointed by the current discourse.”