Director Maïmouna Doucouré experienced intense backlash over Netflix’s promotional campaign for “Cuties”, but she learned about the artwork at the same time as the public.
The French filmmaker is preparing for the rollout of her critically applauded coming-of-age dramedy “Cuties”. While working diligently in France, Netflix revealed an American version of the film poster, which many believed hypersexualized young women.
“Things happened fairly quickly because, after the delays, I was completely concentrating on the film’s release in France. I discovered the poster at the same time as the American public,” she told Deadline. “My reaction? It was a strange experience.
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“I hadn’t seen the poster until after I started getting all these reactions on social media, direct messages from people, attacks on me,” Doucouré continued. “I didn’t understand what was going on. That was when I went and saw what the poster looked like.”
The backlash was so intense that Doucouré received death threats.
“I received numerous attacks on my character from people who had not seen the film, who thought I was actually making a film that was apologetic about [the] hypersexualization of children,” the filmmaker said. “I also received numerous death threats.”
Tessa Thompson (“Avengers: Endgame”) jumped to Doucouré’s defence on Twitter.
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Disappointed to see how it was positioned in terms of marketing. I understand the response of everybody. But it doesn’t speak to the film I saw. https://t.co/L6kmAcJFU1
— Tessa Thompson (@TessaThompson_x) August 20, 2020
The director actually received an apology call from Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos.
“We had several discussions back and forth after this happened. Netflix apologized publicly, and also personally to me,” she shared. “Streamers are a great way to get my stories out and share my messages with more people.”
“Cuties” premieres Sept. 9 on Netflix.