Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos is defending his platform’s decision to keep the highly controversial “Cuties” film despite a wave of negativity and a spike in canceled subscriptions.
Sarandos described the film as “a very personal coming of age film” and said it was the American audiences—not the film—that is the problem.
“It’s a little surprising in 2020 America that we’re having a discussion about censoring storytelling,” he said via the Daily Wire. “It’s a film that is very misunderstood with some audiences, uniquely within the United States. 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.”
Immediately following the backlash of the film, which critics described as very suggestive and pedophilic, Netflix released a statement apologizing for some of the marketing material used for the film.
“We’re deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for ‘Cuties.’ It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which premiered at Sundance. We’ve now updated the pictures and description,” Netflix said via the report.
The Daily Wire also reports Netflix defended the film against the backlash, calling it “a social commentary against the sexualization 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.”
French director of “Cuties” Maïmouna Doucouré defended the film as a “feminist” piece that inspects society’s sexualization of children.
“It’s because I saw so many things and so many issues around me lived by young girls, that I decided to make this film and sound an alarm and say, ‘We need to protect our children,’” Doucouré said at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, accepting the Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic.
“It’s bold, its feminist, but it’s so important and necessary to create debate and try to find solutions, for me as an artist, for politicians and parents. It’s a real issue,” she said at the time, the Daily Wire reports.