L’ARP (La Société civile des Auteurs-Réalisateurs-Producteurs), France’s authors, directors, and producers guild, issued a statement September 15 defending the controversial release of the Netflix original movie “Cuties.” The film has become a national talking point following its September 9 release over accusations it sexualizes child actors and promotes child pornography. L’ARP says the backlash over “Cuties” is a “grave attack on freedom of creation” being fueled by “the most conservative of Americans” (via Variety).

“At a time when the most conservative of Americans are calling for a boycott of the film ‘Cuties,’ we would like to support its director, Maimouna Doucouré, who won the Best Direction award at the Sundance Film Festival,” an official L’ARP statement reads. “This film, produced in France, then bought by Netflix for distribution in the United States, is emblematic of the indispensable freedom of expression that cinema, in all its diversity, needs to address disturbing topics, therefore it’s necessary for the exercise of democracy. We will always stand with those who support and disseminate works expressing this freedom.”