Less than an hour after we published our interview with Cuties director Maïmouna Doucouré, in which she defended her movie after a backlash against its U.S. poster, the Turkish government has said it will order Netflix to block local access to the movie.
Reuters is reporting that the country’s broadcasting watchdog claims the film contains images of child exploitation. Turkey’s Family Ministry had previously said the film “may cause children to be open to negligence and abuse, and negatively impact their psychosocial development”.
Netflix did not immediately respond to request for comment but has bowed to censorship requests from the Turkish government in the past, pulling an episode of Designated Survivor that featured a fictitious Turkish president as its antagonist.
Cuties is due to launch in the country on September 9. The film follows a young Senegalese Muslim girl living in France who dreams of joining her friends’ modern dance troupe, a fantasy that clashes with her family’s traditional values. Turkey is a Muslim country and has become more religious and conservative in recent years under its president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The movie was at the center of a furor last month when Netflix launched the film’s international poster, which was widely criticized for sexualizing children. The streamer quickly apologized and removed the offending artwork, but not before the film received a wave of social media negativity. Its director Doucouré even received death threats. We discussed that with her in our interview today.