- Netflix has apologised for artwork that accompanied the French film, Cuties, after accusations that it sexualises young girls.
- Cuties follows the life of an 11-year-old black girl growing up in a working-class area of Paris, as she defies her family and becomes aware of her burgeoning sexuality.
- The film has received backlash from the public, with thousands signing a petition to have it removed from the streaming platform.
Video streaming giant Netflix has apologised after its promotional material for a French-language film sparked accusations that it was sexualising young girls.
The award-winning Cuties ("Mignonnes") follows black 11-year-old Amy as she grows up in a working-class area of Paris, defies her family and becomes aware of her burgeoning sexuality.
The poster promoting the film in France shows four brightly dressed girls throwing confetti as they walk up a street.
However, in the United States and internationally Netflix chose an image showing the four young stars posing in tight costumes baring their legs and midriffs.
"We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance," Netflix said on Twitter late Thursday.
"We've now updated the pictures and description."
We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description.— Netflix (@netflix) August 20, 2020
Tens of thousands signed a petition demanding the removal of the film from the platform, where it is due to be streamed from 9 September, describing the film as "disgusting" and "for the viewing pleasure of paedophiles".
But social media users focused on the Netflix artwork, helping to redirect the storm towards the hugely popular streaming platform.
Directed by French-Senegalese woman Maimouna Doucoure, the film premiered at Sundance Film Festival in the US and at the Berlin festival, winning awards at both.