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Netflix continues to stand by its controversial movie, Cuties, following its indictment spearheaded by Tyler County, Texas.
The District Attorney’s Office claims that Netflix, by distributing Cuties, “knowingly promote[d] visual material that depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child, which appeals to the prurient interest in sex and has no serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.”
But Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos says the movie is just “misunderstood.”
“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 says. “It’s a little surprising that in 2020 America we’re having a discussion about censoring storytelling.”
Cuties is a coming-of-age story of an 11-year-old Senegalese girl living in France who rebels against her conservative family values and joins a “free-spirited dance crew.”
The movie caused an uproar as the minor actresses were often scantily clad as they danced provocatively.
Since the movie’s premiere, director Maïmouna Doucouré has repeatedly defended her film against its many critics.
“I received numerous attacks on my character from people who had not seen the film, who thought I was actually making a film that was apologetic about hypersexualization of children,” Doucouré told Deadline in September, adding she hoped the haters would “understand that we’re actually on the same side of this battle” after watching the movie.
“I really put my heart into this film,” she said. “It’s actually my personal story as well as the story of many children who have to navigate between a liberal Western culture and a conservative culture at home.”