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‘Cuties’ Director Maïmouna Doucouré Aims to ‘Sound Alarm’ on ‘Hyper-sexualization of Our Children’

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Filmmaker Maïmouna Doucouré

Maïmouna Doucouré

“I wanted to make a film in the hope of starting a conversation about the sexualization of children. The movie has certainly started a debate, though not the one that I intended,” says Maïmouna Doucouré, the French director of the controversial film “Cuties,” now streaming on Netflix.

Doucouré has responded to the film’s backlash in an op-ed for The Washington Post.

The hashtag #CancelNetflix began trending on social media last week after folks who had not watched the film accused Doucouré and Netflix of sexualizing young girls.

Doucouré has received death threats over the film. In a recent interview, she noted that she intended to make a provocative social commentary about the impact of sexualized imagery on young girls. 

The coming-of-age story follows Amy (Fathia Youssouf), an 11-year-old girl from Senegal who joins a dance team as an escape from her and conservative Muslim family.

READ MORE: ‘Cuties’ Director Maïmouna Doucouré on Receiving Death Threats Over Netflix Poster Backlash

Last month, Netflix issued a public apology to Doucouré following backlash over the U.S. marketing poster for the film, which shows the young stars scantily dressed and striking suggestive dance poses.

The company also issued a statement defending the movie.

In her piece for The Washington Post, the filmmaker explains how she was inspired to make the movie after interviewing young girls about the their relationship with social media.

“The stories that the girls I spoke to shared with me were remarkably similar. They saw that the sexier a woman is on Instagram or TikTok, the more likes she gets,” she continues. “They tried to imitate that sexuality in the belief that it would make them more popular. Spend an hour on social media and you’ll see preteens — often in makeup — pouting their lips and strutting their stuff as if they were grown women. The problem, of course, is that they are not women, and they don’t realize what they are doing. They construct their self-esteem based on social media likes and the number of followers they have. To see these youngsters put so much pressure on themselves so early was heartbreaking. Their insights and experiences with social media informed Cuties.”

Doucouré explains how she “wanted to open people’s eyes to what’s truly happening in schools and on social media, forcing them to confront images of young girls made up, dressed up and dancing suggestively to imitate their favorite pop icon. I wanted adults to spend 96 minutes seeing the world through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl, as she lives 24 hours a day. These scenes can be hard to watch but are no less true as a result,” she writes.

The manufactured outrage over the film, stirred up by Right-wing news sites, has even rattled GOP politicans. Four state attorneys general are calling on Netflix to remove “Cuties” from the streaming service, claiming it sexualizes young girls, USA Today reports.

In a recent virtual panel with uniFrance, Doucouré said “Cuties” aims to “sound an alarm” on the “hyper-sexualization of our children” thanks to social media.

“It’s feminist, but it’s so important and necessary to create debate and try to find solutions all together,” she said. “Watch the film and understand that we have the same fight.”

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News

Wife of NBA Star Malik Beasley Files for Divorce Over Alleged Affair with Larsa Pippen

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*It looks like the marriage is over between Malik Beasley and Montana Yao. 

Sources tell E! News that Yao filed for divorce shortly after the NBA star was spotted in Miami with Larsa Pippen.

We previously reported… Yao says she was “blindsided” after seeing photos online of the Minnesota Timberwolves guard holding hands with Scottie Pippen’s estranged wife.

A source close to Yao told TMZ Sports that Beasley was getting cozy with Larsa while his wife was waiting for him to return to their home in Minnesota to celebrate his 24th birthday on November 26. 

Larsa is 46 and Beasley is 24. She is still married to Scottie.

READ MORE: All Skate! Black Female Owner of ‘Moonlight Roller’ Nets $3M in Worldwide Sales (Video)

Yao shares a child with Beasley.

“Montana filed for a divorce the day she saw the photos,” the source told E! News. “Montana never cheated, and it’s not in her character. She’s not dating anybody. She’s a family person. She’s focusing on taking care of her son with her parents. They are quarantining together. Her son is her first priority.”

A source has told Hollywood Unlocked that Beasley had been separated from Yao for months. 

The source claims Pippen was “fully aware” that Beasley was married, but separated from his wife. 

“She thought Malik was in the process of ending his marriage and she wasn’t doing anything wrong by hanging out with him,” the source said. “Larsa and Malik are still in touch and are planning to see each other again when the news blows over.”

Last month, Pippen made headlines for revealing she was dating another NBA baller, Tristan Thompson, before she introduced him to Khloé Kardashian.

Meanwhile, Beasley reportedly once fought ex-NFL player Su’a Cravens in a hotel lobby over Montana Yao.

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Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip

Celebrity Designer Jessica Rich Shares Behind-the-Scenes Look in Fashion World on Digital Reality Show

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Jessica Rich

“BOSS AF” airs on IGTV at 3:00pm PST on Instagram @BOSSAFLA

*Celebrity fashion shoe designer Jessica Rich is giving her fans a full access pass into her life on her digital reality show Boss AF, which can be viewed on Instagram @BOSSAFLA.

The 10-minute mini-series is meant to showcase the day in the life of the young mogul and goes behind the scenes of the process of building her brand and working with high-profile VIP clients such as Cardi B, J.Lo, Kylie Jenner, Normani, and Saweetie while also juggling a personal life.

“I just feel like my life has always been very interesting because of juggling a lot of things since moving from Michigan and going to New York then making something out of nothing,” Rich said. “It’s a great behind-the-scenes story of a young entrepreneur’s life, the challenges she faces on a day-to-day basis and how she keeps it all together.”

MORE NEWS: Dave Chappelle Gets Into Heated Confrontation with Fans in Texas [VIDEO]

 

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Last month, Rich opened her footwear store in The Beverly Center next to major brands Burberry and Versace. She plans to use the space to showcase and sell other Black brands she loves and believes in, alongside her own.

While she continues to grow her brand, Rich, who started out as a wardrobe stylist, admits her success hasn’t come easy.

“I started my brand with $1000 and here we are three years later opening a store at the Beverly Center that Giuseppe Zanotti used to be inside of. Everything seems so surreal, but I worked hard for these moments,” Rich said. “I want to continue to open different stores in different cities and then I want to also do a big collaboration with another designer such as Tom Ford.”

For more information on the Jessica Rich shoe collection visit Jessicarich.com and follower her on social media @jessicarichcollection and/or @jessicarich

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COVID-19

California Governor Gavin Newsom Announces ‘Regional’ Stay-At-Home Order [VIDEO]

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*California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new regional stay-at-home order on Thursday, and it comes as the state’s COVID cases surge. 

As reported by Daily Mail, a record 9,702 people are currently hospitalized across the state, with 2,147  in intensive care, leaving the state with fewer than 1,800 available beds.

Newsome’s stay-at-home order will apply to any of California’s five regions when intensive care unit capacity drops below 15 percent, which none currently meet that threshold. 

READ MORE: First Look! Trailer for Hilary Swank & Michael Ealy’s New Thriller ‘Fatale’ Released / WATCH

Here’s more from MSN:

That certainly includes Los Angeles County, which had only 122 such beds left as of Wednesday; Imperial County, which had only 2 ICU beds available on Thursday; and counties in the state’s Central Valley. 

Retail will still be allowed, but at max 20% capacity. Bars, wineries, personal service businesses, hair salons and barbershops are to be closed. Schools with waivers can stay open, along with “critical infrastructure.” Restaurants will be limited to takeout and delivery service only.

“This is the final surge in this pandemic,” said Newsom during a press conference. “We do not anticipate having to do this again.”  The governor also noted the state has not yet seen an increase in COVID cases related to Thanksgiving holiday/travel.

California reported 18,951 new cases on Thursday, the same day the state had only 1,731 out of 7,662 ICU beds available, according to the report.

On Wednesday, 20,759 new cases had been reported over a 24-hour period. 

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