Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos has defended “Cuties,” the controversial French film accused of sexualizing children, insisting the flick is “misunderstood” in America.
“The film speaks for itself,” Sarandos said of the documentary that’s prompted a Texas grand jury to indict Netflix for allegedly promoting “lewd visual material” of a child last month.
Sarandos, who was speaking Monday during a Q&A at the annual global content conference Mipcom, also said “Cuties” “appeals to the prurient interest in sex, and has no serious, literary, artistic, political, or scientific value,” Deadline reported.
“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, according to Variety.
“It’s a little surprising that in 2020 America we’re having a discussion about censoring storytelling,” he complained.
“Cuties” follows the story of an 11-year-old Muslim girl living in Paris who joins a dance crew.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is among several Washington lawmakers who have called for a Department of Justice investigation of Netflix’s decision to stream the film, saying it “sexualizes young girls.”