Netflix has broken its silence on the calls for a boycott against the streaming giant for its promotion of the highly controversial film "Cuties."
In a statement to TheBlaze, a spokesperson encouraged people who care about issues such as the sexualization of children to watch the film.
What are the details?
In a statement to TheBlaze, a spokesperson for the streaming giant said, "Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. It's an award winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up — and we'd encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie."
"Cuties" is an award-winning French film that centers around four 11-year-old girls in a "sensual dance" troupe and is rated TV-MA in the U.S. — for mature audiences only.
So far, more than 608,000 people have signed a Change.org petition titled "Cancel Netflix Subscription."
The film has also prompted hashtag #CancelNetflix to trend on social media.
'Lawfully defined as pedophilia'
The film, according to its IMDB page at one point, features "female breast nudity of a minor," "shots of breast, bums, and spread crotches of scantily clad" little girls.
Another apparently deleted parental warning added, "During one of the many highly sexualized & erotic dance scenes that purposefully exploit & objectify numerous scantily clad under age girls, one of the female child dancers lifts up her cropped top to fully display her bare breast. This is lawfully defined as pedophilia and can be extremely distressing to many viewers."
Yet another warning read, "An 11 year old [sic] girl watches a female rap music video where naked women role play through dance, both heterosexual & lesbian sex acts. An 11 year old [sic] female dance group then mimics these sexual moves on themselves and on each other while the camera zooms in on their sexual body parts as they erotically writher [sic]. This can be highly distressing to many viewers."
Company is 'desensitizing millions of viewers'
This is the second time in as many months that the film stirred up a heavy social media response.
In August, Netflix took fire after debuting a concerning trailer and poster for the film, which clearly sexualized the young actresses.
At the time, Netflix issued an apology, saying, "We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance. We've now updated the pictures and description."
In a Thursday statement, Parents Television Council program director Melissa Henson said, "Although there is a danger that little girls will be attracted to this film, the far greater risk is the way this film normalizes the sexualization of little girls. [Netflix] is desensitizing millions of viewers at home by asking them to be entertained by it."
Update Sept. 11, 2020 2:25 PM ET: A spokesperson for Netflix tells TheBlaze, "There is no underage nudity in this film."
Cuties | Official Trailer | Netflix www.youtube.com