Netflix subscriptions dropped and cancellations increased after the release of the controversial film Cuties
Netflix’s disappointing third-quarter earnings stemmed from subscribers dropping their service eight times the usual rate due to anger over controversial French film Cuties, it has been reported.
Data gathered by two analytics companies indicates that the number of people canceling their subscriptions rose sharply around the same time that calls for a boycott of Netflix over the Cuties broadcast were growing.
Antenna, a data analytics company that tracks Netflix subscribers, reported a ‘significant spike in churn rate’ shortly after the hashtag #CancelNetflix went viral.
‘Churn’ measures the number of subscribers who cancel payment services such as Netflix for any reason, it said USA Today.
In mid-September, Antenna noted that Netflix lost five times as many subscribers in the days following the release of Cuties as the company did in the previous month.
Two data analysis companies reported that Netflix subscription cancellations have skyrocketed amid growing calls to boycott the streaming service over the distribution of Cuties, a French film accused of ‘hyper-sexualizing children’
On Wednesday, Netflix sent a letter to its investors saying it had failed its subscriber target last quarter. In the three-month period ending September 30, 2.2 million worldwide subscribers joined Netflix. Those results were a sharp drop from the first two quarters of this year, when Netflix added 16 million and 10 million subscribers, respectively.
Antenna, a data analytics company that tracks Netflix subscribers, reported a ‘significant spike in churn rate’ shortly after the hashtag #CancelNetflix went viral. In mid-September, Antenna noted that Netflix lost five times as many subscribers in the days following the release of Cuties as the company did in the previous month.
Another analyst firm, YipitData, also reported in mid-September that “ churn in the US has increased significantly this weekend as a result of the ‘Cuties’ response. ‘
Days after the hashtag went viral, YipitData reported that “ the number of disconnects was almost 8x the daily level observed in August, reaching a multi-year high. ”
The two analytics companies declined to say how they got the subscription data.
Since subscribers do business directly with Netflix, the streaming giant is the only company that has exact figures on its subscription roles.
On Wednesday, Netflix sent a letter to its investors saying it had failed its subscriber target last quarter.
In the three-month period ending September 30, 2.2 million worldwide subscribers joined Netflix. Of these, only 180,000 applied for service in the United States.
Released by Netflix on September 9, Cuties tells the story of a French dance troupe
The French-Senegalese director of Cuties, Maïmouna Doucouré, has defended her film after coming under fire for allegations that it hypersexualizes young girls.
Those results were a sharp drop from the first two quarters of this year, when Netflix added 16 million and 10 million subscribers, respectively.
Netflix, which anticipated a decline in subscriber numbers in the third quarter, told investors that easing the coronavirus blocking and tougher competition from streaming services would likely lead to a slowdown in growth.
Cuties, directed by the French-Senegalese Maïmouna Doucouré, tells the story of Amy, an 11-year-old girl who rubs against her strict Muslim parents and finds comfort in a dance troupe.
Inspired by music videos and social media, the girl group teaches and practices provocative and sexualized choreographies in preparation for a dance competition.
Set in a poor suburb of Paris, Doucouré says the film is inspired by her own experiences and is a social commentary on the need to protect children.
But the film, which shows the young girls in provocative dance poses, has been accused of ‘hypersexualizing children’.
The film has sparked anger since its September 9 release on Netflix, prompting calls for a boycott of Netflix. The hashtag #CancelNetflix started trending on social media.
Netflix did not produce or develop Cuties.
Instead, it bought the rights to distribute the film after it met critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival, where it debuted in January.
Senator Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, urged the Department of Justice to investigate the production and distribution of the film, including everyone involved
Cruz wrote a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr calling on him to investigate the case
The company has had legal ramifications for streaming Cuties.
On Sept. 23, a grand jury in Texas sued Netflix, accusing the California-based company of broadcasting lewd material in their state.
Netflix said Cuties is “a social commentary against the sexualization of young children” in a statement to NBC News.
“The charge is without merit and we stand behind the film.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz led the campaign against the film.
Cruz sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr, saying that the film “sexualizes young girls through dance scenes that simulate sexual activity, including one that exposes a minor’s chest.”
He explained on social media: “ Following Netflix’s disturbing promotion of ‘Cuties’, I sent a letter calling on the DOJ to investigate whether Netflix, its executives or the filmmakers have federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography violated. ‘
Cruz urged the Justice Department to investigate the production and distribution of the film, including everyone involved.
The campaign to cancel Netflix seemed to be growing, judging by tweets
A Twitter user tweeted the hashtags #CancelNetflix and #SaveOurChildren
The hashtag #CancelNetflix was trending on Twitter as the response to Cuties was fierce
Some social media users accused the film of ‘child pornography’
Social media users have attacked people defending the film, featuring 11-year-old girls dancing
One Twitter user commented that Netflix apologized for its movie poster, saying it was “inappropriate.”
Democrat Tulsi Gabbard accused Netflix of being complicit in encouraging pedophilia
House Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, found rare common ground with Cruz and agreed that the film was unacceptable and accused Netflix of being complicit in encouraging pedophilia and child trafficking.
Netflix child pornography “Cuties” is sure to whet the appetite of pedophiles and boost the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of human trafficking are children. It happened to my friend’s 13 year old daughter. Netflix, you are now an accomplice. #CancelNetflix, ‘Gabbard wrote.
Despite Netflix’s weaker-than-expected third quarter, it remains a colossus in the world of streaming content.
The company has 195 million subscribers worldwide, of which 73 million are in North America.
By the end of the year, Netflix expects to cross the 200 million subscriber threshold.