Earlier this month, Netflix debuted Cuties, a film by French filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré. The movie explores the life of an 11-year-old girl in Paris who is torn between her family’s conservative Muslim identity and Western culture’s sexualization of women. Doucouré won the world cinema dramatic directing award for the film when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019.
However, due to the subject matter of the film and the fact that the film sports scenes of preteen girls as sexual objects, Cuties quickly came under backlash earlier this month from some Netflix viewers and politicians, including Senator Ted Cruz and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Soon enough, the #CancelNetflix hashtag started trending on Twitter.
But just how many people followed through with canceling Netflix over the Cuties backlash? Not many, reports Variety. The publication cites data from research firm 7Park Data that shows Netflix cancellations increased about five times the normal amount in the days following the film’s release but, within a few days, cancellations returned to their average levels. In other words, Netflix didn’t experience an impactful number of cancellations.
However, the cancellations it did receive weren’t distributed evenly across the United States. Most cancellations occurred in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska, and Alaska. More broadly, cancellations also increased in other parts of the central and southern United States. Maine was also an outlier on the East Coast.
For its part, Netflix has always defended the film against the backlash. Earlier this month a company rep said, “Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. It’s an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up—and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”