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Imagination Connoisseur, Anand Gonsalves, writes in with his thoughts about the controversial Netflix movie, CUTIES and why even though he thinks the movie has a lot to say, it just goes too far in his book.

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Dear Rob,

I hope you’re well today.

A couple days ago, after you read Willow Yang’s review of Cuties (2020), I decided to give the film a shot. Willow was right. It is a much more thoughtful film than what the backlash characterizes it as. I thought it was a generally worthwhile exploration of young girls and modern social media culture.

Despite the film’s thoughtful moments, some sequences border on exploitative and seem to have gratified ephebophiles. On 15 September 2020, the adult video site XVideos had “cuties netflix” on its trending queries [1]. In mrgirl’s now-infamous review of the film, he says that “this film…tries to make you sexually aroused by 11 year olds…it’s not bad at it…at least for me” [2].

I feel like I’m at an impasse with Cuties. I like what it has to say, but I can’t justify its indelicate scenes. I’d like to know what you have to say about it.

In your opinion, how can filmmakers tackle taboo topics like this without exploitation and appealing to deviants?

Take care,

[1] The Quartering. “Cuties SPIKES Netflix Cancellations By 800% & SHOCKING New Data On WHO Watches It”. 15 September 2020.

[2] mrgirl. “Cuties: An Uncomfortably Honest Review”. 10 September 2020.