Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos is coming to defend the controversial French film “Cuties,” which was accused of sexualizing children.
“Cuties” has been the topic of conversation for the past few months now. The drama surrounding the film began earlier this year after the steaming platform released an image that showed young girls posing sexually.
The story tells the life of an 11-year-old Senegalese girl who escapes the dysfunction of her family by joining a dance group with other young girls her age. Backlash regarding the film included people calling the movie out over inappropriate scenes in which the children are seen dancing sexually, and in other scenes, the girls are heard using provocative language. There’s been so much criticism that even a Texas grand jury is looking to indict Netflix for allegedly promoting “lewd visual material.”
The creator and director of the film, Maïmouna Doucouré, has maintained her stance by defending the film, and after some initial reluctance, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings cemented his position on the film by standing by Doucouré in support. Now, Netflix’s other CEO, Sarandos is also speaking out in its defense: “The film speaks for itself.”
“It’s a very personal coming-of-age film, it’s the director’s story and the film has obviously played very well at Sundance without any of this controversy and played in theaters throughout Europe without any of this controversy,” Sarandos added during a Q&A Monday at the annual global content conference Mipcom, according to Variety. “It’s a little surprising that in 2020 America we’re having a discussion about censoring storytelling,” he said.