Ted Sarandos: ‘Cuties’ Is a ‘Very Misunderstood’ Film

Netflix is facing a criminal indictment in the state of Texas regarding allegations of “lewd visual material” involving underage girls in the French indie film Cuties. Speaking Oct. 12 at the French virtual MIPCOM confab, co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended the movie about an 11-year-old Senegalese girl coming of age in 21st century Paris against the backdrop of a religious mother and peer pressure from a group of young female dancers.

“It’s a little surprising in 2020 America that we’re having a discussion about censoring storytelling,” Sarandos told the confab. “It’s a film that is very misunderstood with some audiences, uniquely within the United States.”

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Sarandos, who shares CEO duties with Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings, said the streamer has no plans to alter the movie to appease critics. He said the film, which Netflix acquired at the Sundance Film Festival, amounts to an autobiography of sorts for director Maïmouna Doucouré.

“The film speaks for itself,” he said. “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 theatres throughout Europe without any of this controversy.”

IHS: Domestic 4K UHD TV Shipments Surge Due to Pending Chinese Tariffs

Sales and shipments of 4K UHD televisions has hit 60% market penetration in some parts of the world, including the United States, according to new data from IHS Markit.

Speaking Oct. 14 at the MIPCOM confab in Cannes, France, Paul Gray, research analysis director at the London-based IHS, said 4K UHD TVs now exceed more than half of all TV shipments worldwide.

The analyst contends there are more than 260 million 4K UHD households globally — a tally that is expected to reach 574 million households by 2023, according to Advanced-Television.com, which reported Gray’s comments from France. About 34% of North American homes have 4KUHD TVs, increasing to 64% in the next four years.

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Notably, domestic shipments of 4K UHD TVs surged in North America as distributors stockpile inventory ahead of any proposed tariff increases on Chinese-manufactured products by the Trump Administration.

Meanwhile, next-generation 8K resolution continues to grow slowly with 167,000 display units shipped in 2019. This is expected to reach 3 million units by 2023.

Ad-Supported VOD Service Tubi Launching Kids Platform, Service in U.K.

Tubi, the San Francisco-based ad-supported video-on-demand service, Oct. 14 announced it would launch ‘Tubi Kids’ Oct. 21 in the United States, in addition to service operations in the United Kingdom in 2020.

The AVOD made the announcements during a keynote address at MIPCOM in Cannes, France.

Tubi Kids will feature a library of content featuring more than 1,200 age-appropriate movies and television shows or 5,000+ hours of content in a dedicated section built just for families.

In November the platform will include movies How to Train Your Dragon, Norm of the North, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, alongside series featuring characters Sonic the Hedgehog, Strawberry Shortcake, Paddington Bear and The Wiggles, among others.

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“The launch of Tubi Kids reinforces our dedication to offer an age-appropriate viewing environment — super-serving kids and families with a robust amount of content,” CEO Farhad Massoudi said in a statement.

Tubi said it streamed more than 132 million hours of content in September — a 40% increase in four months.

New titles currently available include Megamind, starring Will Ferrell and Tina Fey, Scary Movie 1 and 2, starring Marlon Wayans and Anna Faris, the Academy Award-winner No Country for Old Men, directed by Joel & Ethan Cohen, and the 13th season of the reality TV series “The Bachelorette.”

Massoudi said the U.K. launch would be the first of several forthcoming international territories for the AVOD service.

“[We] look forward to announcing them soon,” he said.