Netflix apologizes for poster after criticism it sexualized children
© getty

Netflix on Thursday issued an apology after facing criticism for artwork promoting a movie that critics say sexualized children.

The promotional material in question is for the upcoming French film "Cuties," which first premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, Yahoo reported.

"We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties," the streaming company wrote on Twitter. "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."

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The message behind the film reportedly aims to critique the hyper-sexualization of women and girls in culture. However, the U.S. promotional poster for the film drew criticism for being too overtly sexual despite its narrative intentions.

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A side-by-side of the French promotional poster and the American poster promoted by Netflix shows a stark contrast in its depiction of the four main protagonist girls in the film.

While the film's actual content aims to critique cultural standards and views of girls and women in society, some believe the film is inherently exploitative.

A Change.org petition was started in an attempt to boycott the film and convince Netflix to remove the movie entirely and has received nearly 65,000 signatures.

"This movie/show is disgusting as it sexualizes an ELEVEN year old for the viewing pleasure of pedophiles and also negatively influences our children," said Allison Mitchell, founder of the petition. "There is no need for this kind of content in that age group, especially when sex trafficking and pedophilia are so rampant! There is no excuse, this is dangerous content!"

A spokesperson for Netflix would not comment on the petition, but confirmed the film is slated to begin streaming on Sept. 9.

Updated at 2:37 a.m.