Dr. James Emery White Christian Blog and Commentary

Why the Child Exploitation Film Cuties on Netflix Is So Very Dangerous

woman covering face sad to see what she is watchingPhoto Credit: ©GettyImages/Kamonwan Wankaew

I received a series of text messages from my 33-year-old daughter, Rebecca, who is also the mother of three. I received her permission to share a lightly-edited version of them: 

Changing the subject. Have you seen “Cuties” on Netflix yet? It’s the film that has been so controversial. I watched it last night.

It was so horrible. I’m still depressed about it.

Netflix and the director say that it is a condemnation of sexualization of young girls. However, I did not think that they did enough to make that point. There were way too many shocking moments and close-ups of hyper-sexualized dance moves. I was cringing and horrified through most of it. I wanted to see it because one of the big critiques is that people who are against it had apparently not seen the movie. After having watched it, I agree that it should be taken down. I feel like it will fuel pedophile tendencies. Plus, the actresses in the movie are victims in my opinion.

There really aren’t that many consequences for the choices that the girl makes. She even posts a photograph of her genitals on social media and the only consequence is that her friends say that people think they are sluts now.

And, you know, they are 11 years old.

They watch porn, ask a boy through social media if he wants to touch them, videotape a boy going to the bathroom, talk about condoms and aids, talk about sexual encounters they’ve had, not to mention the footage of them dancing like strippers.

What is so interesting, too, is that the girl’s mom is struggling because her husband is bringing home a second wife. So, when the girl does eventually return to her childhood values, it’s in the context of a family with a polygamist marriage. So, when she returns to her conservative roots, there is still the idea that one woman is not enough for a man.

I was so shocked by how far they went. And they just didn’t do enough to show the dangers of it. The bottom line in the film is that a girl gets the most attention by being hyper-sexualized.

I was so depressed and sick after. I can’t decide if I’m glad I watched it or if I should have stopped watching it.

OMG. I just watched the official trailer. It just looks like a teen dance movie.

And meanwhile, Cardi B’s WAP song is number one in the world. Also disgusting.

And I think I’ll just let that be that. Actually, I do have one thing to add:


James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His newest book, Christianity for People Who Aren’t Christians: Uncommon Answers to Common Questions, is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookseller. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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