“We join our Congressional colleagues in urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) to open an investigation to ensure the film and its production uphold federal laws protecting children from exploitation,” the lawmakers wrote.
The film, titled “Mignonnes” in its original French, centers around an 11-year-old Senegalese immigrant named Amy who lives in Paris and joins a group of dancers called the “Cuties” at school.
The description adds that director Maïmouna Doucouré “focuses tightly on her rowdy protagonists, crafting a spirited film that nimbly depicts the tweens’ youthful energy and vulnerabilities while exploring their fumbling eagerness to be identified as sexualized.”
“Throughout the film, young girls engage in sexually provocative dances, and the film includes at least one scene where a young girl is partially nude. Not only does this raise alarms that these girls may have been exploited in the production of Cuties, but the film also creates an environment where the sexual abuse and exploitation of children by pedophiles is normalized,” Buck and Biggs wrote.
“While the Constitution vigorously protects the freedoms of speech and expression, content that victimizes minors is not among these protected forms of content,” they continued.
The lawmakers in their letter called for a DOJ investigation to ensure the children cast in the film were not exploited or taken advantage of during its production. They said that certain scenes in the film “stimulates the child sex trafficking trade,” such as the “provocative dances” shown throughout “Cuties.”
“The sexualization and gross objectification of these girls on screen creates an environment that is ripe for individuals to take advantage of these innocent children,” they added. “As we have seen all too often, the inherent power structure of film production leaves these girls vulnerable to indecent and potentially abusive treatment.”
Netflix has defended “Cuties” and said that people should watch it before opposing it. In a statement to The Epoch Times last week, a Netflix spokesperson said “Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up.”
“We’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie,” the spokesperson added.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Netflix for comment on Buck’s and Biggs’s joint letter.
Doucouré defended her film this week, saying that it is a social commentary on the treatment of young girls.
“It's because I saw so many things and so many issues around me lived by young girls, that I decided to make this film and sound an alarm and say we need to protect our children," Doucouré said at the Toronto Film Festival on French filmmakers. “It's bold, it's feminist, but it's so important and necessary to create debate and try to find solutions, for me as an artist, for politicians and parents. It's a real issue.”