If it wasn’t for one major marketing blunder on Netflix‘s part, then French coming-of-age drama Cuties stood a real chance of finding a big new audience on the streaming service. After all, director Maimouna Doucoure’s feature-length debut was nominated for the prestigious Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and the filmmaker picked up a win in the Directing category. Not to mention it currently holds impressive scores of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and 64 on Metacritic.
However, once Netflix released the highly controversial first poster, the streaming giant almost instantly issued a public apology after facing huge backlash from subscribers who blasted the movie for sexualizing young children, and even went as far as sending death threats to Doucoure even though she had absolutely nothing to do with how her film was sold to the masses. Tessa Thompson defended Cuties and the internet came for her, too, even though the Thor: Ragnarok star had the benefit of actually seeing it for herself.
An online campaign was launched calling for customers to cancel their subscriptions entirely, as well as a petition to pull it from the platform that gained over 300,000 signatures. Hoping that the furor would die down, Netflix quietly released Cuties yesterday, but it would appear that the boycott has yielded some level of success, as you can see below.
A few week ago, the French movie Cuties (Mignonnes) was subject of a highly watched debate because of poster made by Netflix.
The movie was released yesterday, but almost no one watched it. We have recorded only 1 country with Cuties in TOP 10 list. https://t.co/dsj498HBQ7
— flixpatrol (@flixpatrol) September 10, 2020
Netflix subscribers are clearly making a point of avoiding Cuties, and are even review bombing it at every opportunity to put their point across. In a vast difference from the critical consensus, the user scores for the movie on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic sit at 4% and 1.6, presumably because the controversy is spurring people on to give it a bad name even though they have no intention of ever watching it.