Netflix: Sexualizing children for increased sales — Sonoma State Star | #predators | #childpredators | #kids

Avatar could be far more marketable as an adult live-action, moving forward with the ages of the once young viewers. “Avatar: The Last Airbender” live-action with the changes in violence and sexual material could be comparable to Game of Thrones, a show with high acclaim on HBO Max, a rival streaming platform to Netflix. There are good reasons marketing-wise on paper, but this does not satisfy fans. 

The characters of “ATLA” are children. To age these characters out of the state they are now would be removing the intense message of what war does to children. To sexualize children would be a crime; to make children murder when the original content’s entire point was against harming others would be a disservice to the show. Now with the original creators gone and the production in Netflix’s hands, there is no safety net to protect the show’s true meaning. 

Fans were upset to hear such changes may be made, user Stannette12 on Reddit had this to say. “That would be the most pointless change ever. I mean, seriously, why??? It doesn’t need a bunch of sex scenes to be good, obviously. It doesn’t keep me from watching when movies/shows have them, but it’s like, aren’t there better things you could be doing with this screen time? It’s awkward. I mean, really, what is it that sex scenes add to a show? Especially when it’s a show about a bunch of children, so it would be really inappropriate. And the idea of aging them up just so you can have sex scenes, ludicrous.”

This isn’t the only case of Netflix butchering their media in attempts for more money, though. “Cuties”, a coming of age story by French writer and director Maïmouna Doucouré, was a Sundance Film Festival winner. The film was well-received at the time, but Netflix’s marketing changed the meaning of the piece. Netflix’s original synopsis for the TV-MA film altered this film’s purpose, “Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew. Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family.” 

The poster changed from a group of 11-year-olds shopping for undergarments to reaffirm the coming of age tale to Netflix choosing to put children in tight pants and have them in revealing or sexual positions. The meaning was lost, the film hated before it even released on Netflix, and the creator is under threat of never getting work again, being claimed as a predator. This was not how it was perceived at the film festival, but a month of negative press thanks to the rated mature film being touted as sexualized little girls has ruined this piece of cinema forever.

Netflix continues to make choices that baffle fans and watchers alike as more content appears to be aimed toward adults or, in some cases, predators. Netflix has since replied on twitter, apologizing for the changes of one of the medias. “We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties. 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.” The damage is done though, the only way to come back for these two projects is to ensure justice is done for the supposed heartwarming media.


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