In a week where Meghan Markle championed the cause of female empowerment, there was a growing level of discontent brewing in the background aimed at the Duchess, along with former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle.
The reason? Netflix’s controversial decision to stream the much-maligned movie Cuties.
There’s been a lot of voices speaking out against the movie, which is seen as exploitative by some.
But some voices have been silent.
Cuties, directed by French-Senegalese director Maimouna Doucoure burst onto the scene earlier this month, and controversy hasn’t been far behind.
Honestly, it’s a story that requires a lot of going into, but when you read a description of the content, it was always going to prove controversial.
Cuties uses uncomfortable images to provoke a serious conversation about the sexualization of girls — especially regarding girls of color, the policing of a girl’s sexuality, double standards, the effect of social media on kids, and how children learn these behaviors.
Rightly or wrongly, there’s a growing number of people who have pinpointed a lack of any response to the movie from the likes of Michelle and Barack Obama, and also Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Of late, we’ve seen Prince Harry and Meghan Markle look to build a brand around being socially aware and commenting on what most would call “hot-button” social and political topics.
While it’s all well & good touching on the “safer” topics of the day, which will bring you nothing but applause and a positive reaction, you also open yourself to being torched on other less comfortable matters.
And for Meghan Markle, Cuties is one such subject.
You cannot throw a word salad out there talking about empowering women and building confidence from within only to remain silent on a prominent issue surrounding the exploitation and sexualization of young girls.
Now, my view on the Cuties movie is not important. But, when you have a champion of feminism, encouraging young women to be heard and to vote, and pushing a specific message, you have to speak out on something as controversial as this.
Especially when you’ve signed a huge deal to work with the streaming company being criticized for showing the movie.
Meghan Markle loves nothing better than addressing important issues, especially regarding matters of race and women.
This situation ticks all of the boxes. Surely a prominent voice such as hers should be all over this?
Unless, of course, she’s keeping her head down because she doesn’t want to upset the two men who are signing her paycheques?
And I’m not asking Meghan to condemn the movie. She could very easily come out in support of the much-maligned director Maimouna Doucoure if she believes there is no exploitation or that the film isn’t “pedophilia soft-porn” as has been claimed.
But come on, Meghan, you have to say something. You’re a champion of women, and you’re fighting the battle against racism and exploitation.
You also have a voice that will be heard. While the outcry on Twitter can be dismissed by the two multimillionaires who run Netflix, they won’t ignore your opinions so quickly.
But then again, maybe it’s best not to rock the boat. Stick to the safe topics, and keep the money coming in.