Netflix boss Ted Sarandos has defended Cuties, calling the film “misunderstood”.
Following an indictment from a Texas grand jury for the film’s “lewd” depiction of children, Sarandos said Cuties was “very misunderstood” in the US.
The film, released last month, focuses on 11-year-old Amy who finds herself caught between the traditional Muslim values of her family and her newfound ambition to join an all-girls dance troupe.
Speaking at the virtual Mipcom market, Sarandos said, per Deadline: “It’s a little surprising in 2020 America that we’re having a discussion about censoring storytelling.”
He added: “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 theatres throughout Europe without any of this controversy.”
In response to the charges pressed by the state of Texas, Netflix had previously said in a statement: “Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film.”
In a four-star review of Cuties, NME called the film “a damning indictment of the premature sexualisation of young girls”.
The write-up went on to say: “This is a vivid and very alarming portrait of a young girl struggling to live up to two competing forms of deeply ingrained patriarchy.”
Cuties is streaming on Netflix now.