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.”
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.”