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Netflix Accused of Sexualizing 11-Year-Old Girls

An upcoming film titled "Migonnes," which is loosely translated to "Cuties," has caused Netflix to gain a great deal of criticism. 

The drama film was originally released on the 1st of April this year in France, where it remained relatively unknown. The first few trailers that were uploaded in March don't seem to have caused much of a stir, and even the like ratios on YouTube were above 90%. The movie is set to be released in the US and UK on the 9th of September, and there are clear differences in the marketing strategies. 

https://twitter.com/yeetdere/status/1296280002653282305?s=20

The original poster for the movie in France had a more carefree, children having fun approach, whereas the new poster is disturbing, to say the least. Even the description of the movie was deplorable. 

“Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family’s traditions.”

Netflix has confirmed that they have changed the poster and description, as it did not accurately represent the movie. The unfortunate thing is that the controversy has brought this movie to a much wider audience, which implies that the marketing strategies have worked. I wonder if these types of strategies are being implemented, not by mistake but intentionally in order to drive more traffic to the content. 

Whatever the movie is truly about, it has been marred by a terrible stain. 

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15 Comments
Deleted Account's picture

Maybe I missed the point of this article, but what does this have to do with photography?

Daniel Shewmaker's picture

The author compares the promotional posters for the French and American versions - noting that the photography for the American version sexualizes young girls - while the photography in the French version did not. Did you read it?

Deleted Account's picture

The word "photography" doesn't appear once in the article. No matter how you want to spin it, it's still not an article about photography. It's an article about marketing. It's about how a movie is marketed in different countries.

Dave Dundas's picture

You can find 50 articles about lenses without the word "photography" in them too, so, does that mean lenses aren't related to photography either?

Matthew Lacy's picture

I would also point out that Fstoppers has a fairly prevalent videography mission as well.

Tom Pinches's picture

I remember a while back there was an article about an image of a photographer in the shower with his daughter who had a fever or something. People were moaning about that image sexualising children, which it clearly wasnt, as it was telling a story about a relationship. This clearly is sexualising children and I feel that crying wolf about every image depicting a child not fully-clothed dilutes the argument against images like this. The image of the Vietnamese girl after the US bombing also springs to mind.

J K's picture

I'm confused by part of your comment. You say the image of a Father bringing his child into the shower to cool off from a fever does not sexualize the child (this would be documentary, and, I assume there was some text included with the image to give context). In your next sentence, you say the image does sexualize children. You then state that "crying wolf" (another benign term) dilutes the argument. So what do you believe? I'm not asking to be a jerk, I just do not follow your statement.

People do not "moan" about the sexualizing of children. I moan that it might rain tomorrow, when I was going out to do some photography. One doesn't moan about a news report that a child was raped and killed. We grieve, we speak out. Using "moan" trivializes the harm done to children.

3. Yes, speaking out about a difficult topic does bring it into the light, and it becomes more talked about. The other option is to remain silent, do nothing, and hope that "someone will do something".
All of the women who were victimized by Harvey Weinstein over decades of time were silent about the abuse. Then, one woman spoke up, others who were also Weinsteins's victims were emboldened to speak up as well. Many more such stories are emerging. People discussing difficult issues brings them to the fore, exposing those issues for all to see, and act upon. Silence does not. I remained silent about by abuse for 59 years, and am just now beginning to deal with the negative effects it has had on my life.

Joe Snell's picture

"The unfortunate thing is that the controversy has brought this movie to a much wider audience"
Yep. You did that.

Usman Dawood's picture

Yeah I thought of that but then I also considered if we don't call Netflix out on it then does our silence potentially make us complicit? You know the old saying about evil prevailing. It's a tricky one to balance and I still don't have a proper answer.

J K's picture

Better exposed to the light than hidden in the dark.

Well done, Isman

Lee Morris's picture

This is a strange situation because Netflix didn't make up the minor dance industry, they just made a video about something that already exists and many people are totally fine with. I'm not sure if we should be made at Netflix or the dance industry itself.

Mark Stutzel's picture

I see your point, and I share your concerns about parents who let their young children go out in "sexy" dance costumes and inappropriate dance moves. However, that American version of the poster and the marketing young girls in suggestive ways is all on Netflix and deserves nothing but our contempt and disgust.

aurèle brémond's picture

First, may i suggest you to type correctly the title of the film it's all about "migNonnes" (missing a "N" after the "G"). It's the kills the credibility kind of mistake.

Netflix often change the name and description of film from country to country to get better viewing audiences. So no surprises here.

What is surprising is that the description in both languages clearly is better shown by the US poster than the french one. The french one does more look like a family movie that is pretty not-sexuality-related. The US one clearly show the topic of sexuality related movie, defiance and rebel.

Anyway, still wondering whats the goal of the article.

Michelle Maani's picture

The film is called "Mignonnes," not "Migonnes."

J K's picture

What does it say about North American society, that an obscure film made in France featuring sexualized children, once "discovered" by the internet, will be seen by many more people here?

There is an appetite for these sorts of images here, in both film and photography. Netflix is complicit. First, by showing the film on their network. Second, by orchestrating the marketing of the film the way they did, initially "soft-pedalling" the true content. Then, when public outrage over the true nature of the film emerged, and talk of the film was trending, they create a new, more accurate description of the film's content. This further-reaching chatter did indeed increase the viewership of the film.

So we blame the press, internet chatter, and comments in various blogs. Let's be honest people. If there was no appetite in people to watch and partake in the sexual exploitation of children, none of the wider coverage would matter. There would be no market for it. But, this is the world in which we live. Andy is standing up for these exploited children. He is taking a stand. He does this not for self-aggrandizement, but because it is an evil that exists. He does it because he feels that it must be done.

Lastly, I am saddened by all the personal attacks on Andy, and his work. Cheap shots, all. And, they are in no way germane to the subject at hand. Let's focus on the issue.