Cuties director 'received death threats' over Netflix film poster

Netflix apologised and removed the image after Netflix apologised and removed the image after

on social media last month.

Filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré has now

she "received numerous death threats" over the poster.

She said Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos phoned her directly to apologise after the poster sparked controversy.

Cuties originally premiered at the Sundance film festival in January and received positive reviews from critics.

"Things happened fairly quickly because, after the delays [due to coronavirus], I was completely concentrating on the film's release in France. I discovered the poster at the same time as the American public," Doucouré explained.

"My reaction? It was a strange experience. I hadn't seen the poster until after I started getting all these reactions on social media, direct messages from people, attacks on me. I didn't understand what was going on. That was when I went and saw what the poster looked like."

Cuties follows an 11-year-old who joins a dance group. Doucouré says it is meant to tackle the issue of sexualisation of young girls.

Netflix showed girls posing in skimpy outfits

for the award-winning French drama, which sparked online disapproval and a petition calling for Netflix to drop the film.

However, many defended the movie and said Netflix had not accurately represented it in the poster.

The film is intended to be a commentary on the sexualisation of pre-adolescent girls - rather than an endorsement of it.

"The truth of the movie, as has been well covered by reviews and audience reactions, is that it is the nuanced, sensitive tale of a pre-teen girl who gets caught between two cultures," said Deadline's Tom Grater.

In her interview with the publication, Doucouré herself noted: "I received numerous attacks on my character from people who had not seen the film, who thought I was actually making a film that was apologetic about hyper-sexualisation of children."


: "Disappointed to see how it was positioned in terms of marketing. I understand the response of everybody. But it doesn't speak to the film I saw."

Doucouré said she received "really supportive" messages from people who had seen the film, as well as "extraordinary support" from the French Government.

Read the full story at

1-2-0 (www01)