Netflix's Los Angeles office looms above a hapless palm tree.
Enlarge / Netflix’s Los Angeles workplace looms above a hapless palm tree.

Netflix is seemingly combating controversy a couple of movie on its platform by issuing copyright takedown requests towards tweets that embrace unfavorable commentary concerning the film, based on a brand new report.

TorrentFreak reported right now that Netflix has despatched dozens of takedown requests to Twitter concentrating on particular posts that criticize the film Cuties (Mignonnes), a French movie written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré and launched in the USA on Netflix in September. Whereas the tweets are nonetheless dwell (besides the place the unique posters deleted them), the movies connected to the publish now show messages studying, “This media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright proprietor.”

Why this film?

Cuties is a coming-of-age drama a couple of Black woman in France on the cusp of adolescence. She rebels towards her immigrant dad and mom’ conventional tradition, wherein girls stay quietly coated up at residence, by going overboard in the other way—taking to bounce and social media to precise a sexuality she is simply too younger to grasp the implications of and too new to Western tradition to know how one can body all of it. Doucouré received a directing award for the movie on the 2020 Sundance Movie Pageant in January.

There is a dialogue available concerning the precise movie and to what diploma it does or doesn’t convey its messaging and themes. Right here in the USA, nonetheless, the movie’s advertising and marketing was immediately politicized earlier than the movie itself grew to become accessible to look at.

Detractors took a have a look at the poster, which depicted a troupe of 11-year-old dancers in suggestive poses, and decried it as solely a half-step away from little one pornography. Republican politicians joined the fray, and a grand jury in Tyler County, Texas returned an indictment towards Netflix and its CEO Reed Hastings on September 23, accusing them of “promotion of lewd visible materials depicting a baby.”

Netflix executives repeatedly disputed these claims. “Cuties is a social commentary towards the sexualization of younger kids,” Netflix stated after the indictment. “This cost is with out advantage and we stand by the movie.”

A number of days later, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos stated at a digital occasion, “It is a little bit shocking in 2020 America that we’re having a dialogue about censoring storytelling… It is a movie that may be very misunderstood with some audiences, uniquely inside the USA. The movie speaks for itself. It is a very private coming-of-age movie, it is the director’s story, and the movie has clearly performed very nicely at Sundance with none of this controversy and performed in theaters all through Europe with none of this controversy.”

Drastic measures

Netflix’s takedown requests, that are nonetheless rolling in right now, appear solely to have focused tweets that described the movie negatively, though some greater than others.

“IMAGINE A CHILD SEEING THIS #Cuties #Netflix #CancelNetflixCuties,” one message learn. “WARNING CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT,” one other similar message stated. “Go forward and attempt to justify how this movie is an applicable illustration of 11 12 months olds. I am going to wait. #CancelNetfilx.”

A few of the dozens of tweets Netflix issued DMCA claims towards used clips from the precise film, TorrentFreak experiences, wherein case Netflix’s claims are comprehensible. Nonetheless, lots of the tweets in query shared the movie’s trailer, which is broadly and publicly accessible on YouTube for anybody to view or share.

One one that shared the trailer informed TorrentFreak that she did not do something unsuitable in doing so. “Somebody posted the trailer and I retweeted it and said how I felt concerning the film,” she stated. “I imagine individuals have the proper to be upset concerning the film. If individuals share the trailer and say ‘go watch it,’ it’s not an issue, but when somebody disagrees with it, it is an issue,” she added.

TorrentFreak notes that the cluster of claims is uncommon for Netflix, which has despatched roughly 300 DMCA claims to Netflix up to now month, half of which centered on tweets associated to Cuties. Earlier than Netflix began concentrating on Cuties tweets, many of the claims it despatched have been associated to accounts identified for distributing pirated content material.

Ars requested Netflix for remark, and we’ll replace if we hear again.

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