Thousands of people launched a call to boycott Netflix over the French film "Mignonnes", known as "Cuties" in English.

They say that the film's young stars were portrayed in a sexualised way.

The film is directed by French-Senegalese director Maimouna Doucoure, and started streaming on 9 September.

More than 200,000 tweets with the hashtag "#CancelNetflix" became the top trending topic yesterday.

A first wave of criticism, in August, led Netflix to withdraw "inappropriate" artwork used to promote the film, which was released in theatres that month in France.

Netflix also said it apologised for having used "inappropriate" images.

But yesterday, broader opposition to some of the imagery came from across the political spectrum in the United States.

"As the mother of an 8-year old girl, I STRONGLY support #CancelNetflix," tweeted California Republican Beatrice Cardenas.

The film, which received a director's award at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of Amy, an 11-year-old Parisian, who must juggle with the strict rules of her Senegalese family and social media's emphasis on appearance.

She joins a dance group formed by three other girls from her neighbourhood, whose dance routines are sometimes suggestive.

"The hypersexualization of girls (and boys) is disgusting," tweeted Omar Navarro, another Republican politician. "It is morally and ethically reprehensible."

Among the voices praising the movie were American actress Tessa Thompson ('Creed', 'Avengers: Endgame'), who found it 'beautiful'.

"It gutted me at @sundancefest," she went on.

"It introduces a fresh voice at the helm. She's a French Senegalese Black woman mining her experiences.

"The film comments on the hyper-sexualization of preadolescent girls. Disappointed to see the current discourse. Disappointed to see how it was positioned in terms of marketing.

"I understand the response of everybody. But it doesn't speak to the film I saw."

A Netflix spokesperson said: "Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualisation of young children.

"It's an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up, and we'd encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie."