Netflix chief executive Ted Sarandos recently defended the French film “Cuties,” which drew criticism and accusations of sexualizing young girls.
What’s going on?
- “It’s a little surprising in 2020 America that we’re having a discussion about censoring storytelling,” Sarandos said, according to Deadline. “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.”
Sarandos said Netflix did not do anything to change “Cuties” content before it was released in September.
“Cuties” ignited a major controversy around the world with Netflix investors and subscribers canceling their Netflix subscriptions in response, which I wrote about for Deseret.
YipitData, a global research firm, recently told Fox Business that Netflix’s churn numbers (number of people who drop the subscription service) increased a lot because of “Cuties.”
- “Asked whether the sexualization of young girls depicted in ‘Cuties’ constituted criminal conduct, Netflix offered only conclusory statements in denial. I am not convinced,” said Lee, who believes the Department of Justice should investigate the company.
- “But setting aside the legal question, there is a more pressing moral question. Netflix itself acknowledges that the conduct of the young girls in ‘Cuties’ is ‘inappropriate, shameful and a hallmark of a cultural failing.’ I couldn’t agree more.”
- “What I cannot understand, however, is how Netflix can condemn the conduct depicted in ‘Cuties,’ while celebrating the film and filmmakers who asked several underage girls to stand in front of a camera and engage in that same ‘inappropriate, shameful’ conduct for all the world to see.”