"Cuties," a French film, follows a young girl joining a dance troupe and features four 11-year-old girls participating in provocative dances. It has been repeatedly criticized for its depiction of minors in suggestive situations.
Sarandos said the film was "misunderstood," adding that "it's a little surprising in 2020 America that we're having a discussion about censoring storytelling."
"It's a film that is very misunderstood with some audiences, uniquely within the United States," Sarandos said. "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."
Upon its debut on Netflix, the award-winning French film gained immediate criticism for its blatant sexualization of children. A petition was created on Change.org called "Cancel Netflix Subscription" and the hashtag #CancelNetflix began trending on social media soon after.