Even though the backlash against Netflix’s “Cuties” was largely bi-partisan, a new op-ed in Slate has put the blame squarely on the shoulders of conservatives.
According to Sam Adams, conservatives have a “creepy” obsession with the new French film, which has been accused of indefensibly sexualizing 11-year-old girls in the name of artistry.
“The movie finds itself at the toxic intersection of QAnon delusion and right-wing moral panic, with a smattering of leftist outrage on the side. Brietbart has posted about the movie a half-dozen times in the past two days, singling out critics who praised the film, several of whom have received death threats and been harassed off social media,” wrote Adams. “And Thursday night, Tucker Carlson made it a centerpiece of his show, accusing a nonspecific ‘they’ behind the movie of wanting to ‘destroy young girls.’”
Adams argued that critics of the movie have not actually seen it, choosing instead to go off of the marketing materials and viral clips online. Addressing those who would say that “Cuties” pushes soft-core child pornography, Adams argued that “intent” matters in this case.
“By definition, pornography requires intent, and whether or not Doucouré succeeded (and the reviews are divided on this point), her intent is clear,” Adams continued. “The movie’s protagonist, Amy, is an 11-year-old bouncing between the repressive culture of her conservative Islamic upbringing, where she is warned that ‘evil shows itself in the scantily clad women,’ and the hypersexualized environment of Western culture, where images of adult women doing strip-club gyrations are emulated by tweens on social media for likes. The movie presents those images in order to critique them.”
Adams then addressed the politics of the situation by highlighting how conservatives were quick to point the finger at Susan Rice and former President Barack Obama—as Rice is a member of Netflix’s board of directors and the Obamas have a production deal with the streaming giant. According to Adams, conservatives now have a rallying cry to enlist more QAnon followers.
“It’s hardly accidental that most if not all of the right-wing attacks on Cuties invoke Netflix’s connection to Barack Obama, although the Obamas, who do have a production deal with Netflix, had nothing to do with the film’s acquisition,” said Adams. “It’s a way of winking at QAnon’s insistence that the Democratic Party is a haven for pedophiles.”
Conservatives are hardly the only people in America currently denouncing the movie “Cuties.” As of this writing, the movie holds a lousy 2.1 rating on IMDb and an audience score of 3% on Rotten Tomatoes—two difficult scores to achieve unless the movie was universally disliked beyond the elite critical class. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) also joined in the attack on “Cuties” over the weekend when she said the movie will “whet the appetite of pedophiles.”
“[Netflix] child porn ‘Cuties’ will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children. It happened to my friend’s 13 year old daughter. Netflix, you are now complicit,” tweeted Gabbard.
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