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If infamous sex offender Jeffery Epstein was tapped to make a film, chances are it would end up like this.
Genre: "Coming-of-age"
Directed By: Maimouna Doucouré
Produced By: Zangro
Written By/Screenplay: Maimouna Doucouré
Starring: Fathia Youssouf
Médina El Aidi-Azouni
Esther Gohourou
Myriam Hamma
Maïmouna Gueye
Photography: Color
Cinematography: Yann Maritaud
Music By: Niko Noki
Distributed By: BAC Films (France)
Netflix (international)
Release Date: January 23, 2020 (Sundance)
August 19, 2020 (France)
Runtime: 96 minutes
Country: France
Language: French
Budget: $3 million
Box Office: $692,459

Cuties (Mignonnes) is a 2020 French coming-of-age drama film written and directed by Maimouna Doucouré (in her feature directorial debut) and produced by Zangro. The film is a production of Bien ou Bien Productions in co-production with France 3 Cinéma and was released by BAC Films on August 19, 2020.


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 values in the process.

Pourquoi Ce N'est PAS Mignon (Why It's NOT Cute)

IMPORTANT NOTE/WARNING: This film is extremely highly controversial for promoting child porn and pedophilia by sexualizing children. We advise you NOT to try to add any positive pointers/qualities (redeeming qualities) to this article, especially since it was recently confirmed to be still on Netflix. Anyone who does so will get their edit reverted, removed, or blocked.

  1. Despite the film's intent of criticizing the over-sexualization of children in Western culture, the film kind of forgets to do that. No discernible antagonist is pressuring the Cuties to incorporate sexual elements into their dance routines, like a stage parent or a sleazy producer. Furthermore, the girls never really suffer any consequences for their behavior, at least none that would befall children who engage in such practices, such as unwanted sexual attention. The only time their lewd dancing is plot-relevant, it helps them get out of trouble! The only real consequence the girls suffer, being booed by the audience for their dance routine in the climax, seems to outwardly imply that Western culture does not approve of or condone children engaging in such sexualized behavior.
    • On a related note, maybe the film would have worked better as a book, or an animated film with adult voice actors, or heck, even this film could have had adult actors playing middle or high schoolers. At least in those cases, the work wouldn't have involved exploiting child actresses, and it likely would have been less controversial in the process.
    • Even worse, Doucouré had over 700 young girls auditioned for the role of Amy.
  2. The movie at its core has a nuanced message: which is that Amy was torn between being free to have her own life, or being stuck in a culture she found herself disagreeing with but one her family was involved with, addressing how children in modern society may do inappropriate things, facilitated by apps like TikTok, for the sake of approval and validation, or in the case of those who grew up in repressive or troubled households as Amy does, in defiance of their circumstances with which they may be unhappy. The main problem is that the movie seems to spend less time on this message, and more time seemingly reveling in showing off these inappropriate behaviors with gratuity, with the resolution of Amy deciding she should be a normal western 11-year-old not getting enough development to warrant it.
  3. The film received low backlash when the film first premiered in France. but when Netflix picked up the rights, they began advertising it as a sexy dance movie which prompted heavy backlash from politicians and other individuals due to the film literally sexualizing underaged girls, even prompting Netflix to remove the film from its lineup.
    • To add more fuel to the fire, Netflix released a poster showcasing the main girls in dance outfits. Netflix later apologized for this and was later changed to the main poster.
    • Despite the backlash, Netflix CEO, Ted Sarandos, defended the film. However, his defense was confusing and unconvincing, comparable to releasing a wild tiger in a crowded area, or letting a serial killer out of jail.
  4. Amy is a very unsympathetic and unlikable protagonist. She's a girl who discovers the provocative dances of Perreo through social networks and becomes friends with some girls who go to the same school and have a dance group known as Cuties, which little by little takes away her innocent side to achieve the rebellion of the new generations. You're meant to sympathize with her issues, but considering she does a lot of bad stuff for the entirety of the film, it's nearly impossible to do so, especially since she never gets any true comeuppance for any of this. While she does realize that she was wrong about trying to be someone she's not, ditches the Cuties, and is shown engaging in a normal youth lifestyle, it's too little, too late, as she has done too many questionable actions for viewers to root for her anymore. She did the following:
    • Literally twerking in front of security guards at a laser tag center.
    • Scoffing at her mother's misfortune.
    • Taking a nude photo of her on social media.
    • Stabbing a boy for smacking her in the butt.
    • Pushing Yasmine off the river, while staring blankly as the latter drowns. Heck, even getting her killed!
    • And, worst of all, seducing her older cousin, which is incest.
  5. Various characters that viewers are supposed to dislike tend to come across as being more sympathetic than expected:
    • Amy's mother is certainly flawed, but it's hard not to blame her for reacting the way she did when the school called to tell her that Amy had been fighting, and dressing inappropriately. Even if she hit her, the scene simply portrays a mother furious at her daughter for acting too maturely for her age, and any other parent out there cannot help, but relate to her plight instead, on top of worrying about her husband's second marriage, which she is still broken up about.,
    • Yasmine is meant to be seen negatively for her being the one who threatens Amy's position in the Cuties, but while Yasmine gets kicked out of the team for her own mistake earlier in the film, viewers take her side on account of Amy pushing her in the river, and Yasmine showing she cannot swim. If not for the nearby buoy, Yasmine could have drowned, making her look far less unsympathetic than the film wanted to show.
  6. Wasted characters:
    • Amy's little brother, Ishmael, is possibly the only morally innocent character in the film, and yet he has little to no character, aside from being the "annoying little sibling", and cheerful child. He doesn't even get any prominence, outside of family scenes. He could have been used as a device to discourage Amy's affiliation with the Cuties when their mother wasn't around to provide guidance, and yet, that never happens. The Dior family's baby has it even worse, as it just plays the role of a living prop.
    • Among the titular Cuties, Jess, Coumba, and Yasmine all take a backseat to Angelica, in terms of character development. The trio isn't given distinctive personalities of their own, since they spend most of their screen time together, with no individual focus, or chemistry with one another. Coumba seems to be the more naïve of the group, judging by her mistaken perception of a condom as a balloon, but it's inconsistent in that case since she and the other Cuties are knowledgeable in an age-inappropriate dance move, yet Jess and Yasmine express repulse towards her action on the misguided count that "people with AIDS use condoms", nevermind the fact that they're made to prevent sexually transmitted diseases in addition to pregnancies.
  7. The main antagonists, the Cuties, are very, very evil to Amy and that includes bullying her, hitting on other boys and men, despite their age, being treated as pedophiles or child molesters, etc.
    • Heck, there are scenes when they try to do awful things to her, such as dumping her backpack and peer-pressuring her to record a video in the boy's restroom, etc.
  8. The dance scenes are too sickening to watch, the scenes have closeups of their bodies, while clothed, and there's even one scene when one of the members shows her bare breasts.
  9. Misleading poster: The original French poster gives off the illusion that it is a fun, family-friendly film when it could not be any further from the truth.
    • Unlike most exploitation films such as A Serbian Film, Showgirls and Reefer Madness, it tries to look innocent and play like one as if it is never aware that it is something that needs to be banned.
  10. In the movie's trailer, there is a scene where Angelica uses a flat iron, instead of a hair dryer, or hair iron for her hair. This suggests that she may not be able to afford an actual hair iron, which is somewhat implausible, given the availability of affordable hair irons. Moreover, using a flat iron, instead of a hair dryer, or hair iron can damage hair, and is potentially dangerous.
  11. The dialogue is sometimes laughable and cringe.
  12. The controversy surrounding Cuties may have led some to believe that the French film industry is at fault, which is not true. However, it is worth noting that the following year saw the release of Where Is Anne Frank and My Father's Secret, which both received higher ratings than Cuties.
  13. The fact remains that the film faced severe backlash from politicians in the US and Turkey, who accused it of sexualizing children. However, it should be noted that Netflix initially marketed the film as a "sexy dance movie". During the film's release on the platform, the director received multiple death threats, due to the controversial nature of the international promotional poster.
  14. Abysmal direction from Maimouna Doucouré, who is also the film's main writer, and she does an awful job behind the film's production since she clearly doesn't even know how to make an actual movie, and the fact that she was revealed to be an absolute monster behind the scenes obviously puts a bad image behind this film, and is one of the main reasons why it's so hated to begin with.
  15. The film suffers from awful production values with bad editing, poor acting, choppy editing, bad camera work, awful makeup and costume designs that look like unprofessional at best, terrible pacing with zero flow between scenes and a lack of humor to at least entertain audiences. It makes the movie look poorly-made and unprofessional at all, since no effort was put into it and it's high European budget is sadly wasted on such bad filmmaking here, and the film also contains some of the worst writing in any film to date, making this movie an awful sight to watch.
  16. The choreography is very ugly and disgusting, that will most likely make you want to vomit, if you look at it for several minutes, with the film containing many moments with the camera zooming in on either the rear ends of eleven-year-olds twerking or the bodies of the aforementioned eleven-year-olds.
  17. The negative reception of this film, combined with the controversy surrounding Mötley Crüe's "The Dirt", led to a significant increase in Netflix subscription cancellations in the United States, especially from French subscribers in Europe. Despite receiving positive reviews from some film critics, the film's defense by Netflix sparked widespread condemnation, tarnishing the company's reputation. While Netflix has since recovered with the release of other successful shows and movies, this controversy dealt a major blow to its brand image.


Upon release, Cuties was praised by critics (presumably due to bribery), but was universally panned by audiences, and caused a divide between critics and audiences due to its large amount of sexual content about minors. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a critic score of 87% based on 82 reviews with an average rating of 7/10 and its consensus reading, "A thoughtful look at the intricacies of girlhood in the modern age, Cuties is a coming-of-age film that confronts its themes with poignancy and nuance", while it has an audience score of 15% based on 2,500 ratings with an average rating of 1.2/5, though the latter can be partially attributed to review-bombing. On Metacritic, the film has a Metascore of 67/100 based on 16 critic reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews", while its user score is 1.0 out of 10 based on 640 ratings, indicating "overwhelming dislike". Mary McNamara, of The Los Angeles Times, described the film as "a powerful portrait of female rage". On IMDB the movie holds a 3.1/10. On Google, only 7% of people approved of the movie.

The release of the film gave rise to the #CancelNetflix movement. It has also, as mentioned, resulted in a sharp increase in the rate of Netflix subscription cancellations in the United States, as well as a decline in Netflix's stock value. U.S. Senator, Josh Hawley, of Missouri, has even called on Netflix to remove the film, while U.S. Senator, Ted Cruz, of Texas, called for the Department of Justice to investigate Netflix. Representative, and former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, of Hawaii, spoke out against the film as well, tweeting "@netflix child porn 'Cuties' will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles, and help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking in children. It happened to my friend's 13-year-old daughter. Netflix, you are now complicit. #CancelNetflix". Christine Pelosi, daughter of U.S. House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, stated that Cuties "hypersexualizes girls my daughter's age, no doubt, to the delight of pedophiles, like the ones I prosecuted."

The director of the film, Maïmouna Doucouré, handled the film's criticism poorly, as she not only defended the film but even dared to claim that the film was made to promote feminism and diversity.

Controversy and criticism

On August 18, 2020, Netflix unveiled the international trailer and poster for the film. It received huge backlash worldwide, due to the description, and the poster allegedly sexualizing eleven-year-old girls, coming across as more of a film promoting pedophilia, rather than denouncing it. Even 4chan, and other imageboards got in on the action and banned stills, and footage from Cuties from their sites. The trailer for the film is the most disliked video on Netflix's official YouTube channel.

In response, Netflix redacted the poster and description, stating: "We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. It was not okay, nor was it representative of this French film, which won an award at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description."

The controversy led to Doucouré receiving numerous death threats and personal attacks directed toward her Twitter account, forcing her to shut it down.

In addition, Cuties is banned in Turkey, and is being evaluated in Pakistan, for its explicit imagery. Also, the uncut version of Cuties was banned in Australia, so they had to edit it to get it an MA15+ rating by the Australian Classification Board.


After the release of the trailer and film, Netflix lost almost $10 billion in stock. Netflix's renewals decreased, and cancellations increased eightfold. The movie even got Netflix indicted by the state of Texas, citing that the film "depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age...and has no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."


  • Netflix promptly removed the film from its Turkish servers, two days before its global debut, for being controversial to the country's government and causing the movie to be banned there, by the country's media watchdog.
  • This film was the topic of discussion among actual pedophiles from the forum,, a website infamous for hosting pedophiles, rapists, and even murderers, before the film's release.
  • Many people on websites like Newgrounds, and DeviantArt, showcased their hatred towards this, by criticizing Maïmouna Doucouré and Netflix CEO, Ted Sarandos, for defending the film.
  • This film has been used as a meme source to mock Discord and Reddit users, with very unhealthy interests.
  • As mentioned above, the official trailer for the film is currently the most disliked video on the official Netflix channel.
  • One of Netflix's former CEOs, Reed Hastings, would later delete Dave Chappelle's host, because they consider it inappropriate for making fun of transgenders, which would make people hate Netflix more for hypocrisy since they consider a joke as inappropriate, but see the movie Cuties as acceptable.
  • This film was mocked in the Helluva Boss episode "C.H.E.R.U.B.", where Blitzo rips the costume off a mall Santa to reveal an obese pedophile with a "#Cuties" T-shirt.
  • Due to the film's negative reception and controversy, Cuties never got a DVD, or Blu-ray release, internationally.
  • The satire journalist site, "Babylon Bee" made a satire article about how there's a movie that has dogs, that got killed during filming, where the main goal is to spread awareness of animal cruelty, making fun of the movie Cuties.
  • Due to the film's pedophilia content, discussion about the film was banned in 4chan, a website known for pedophilia.
  • Doucouré spent nearly 18 months researching studies on how young and pre-teen children are being exposed to adult content, and sexualized images on social media, to showcase the accurate reality in the film. She spoke to many young girls about these issues. She says that the film deals with self-image and social media. "Our girls see that the more a woman is overly sexualized on social media, the more she's successful, and the children just imitate what they see, trying to achieve the same result without understanding the meaning, and yeah, it's dangerous." She says that, "although watching the film may be difficult, it is important to have a conversation in society about these issues".


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