I think blaming Netflix here is probably incorrect. I'd be willing to wager that the 16:9 crops are the files that they're receiving from the content producers themselves. Which, I'd assume, are more or less the same digital files as are found on the hard-copy DVD of the film in question.
I reviewed DVDs for a website for several years, and I can tell you that virtually every disc with a "widescreen" presentation is a 16:9 crop, even if the source material was in the true Cinemascope-based widescreen 2.4:1 format on film. Even better, 1.85:1 format films are also usually cropped down to 16:9 (although the difference is much, much less obvious there). Sometimes this is disclosed (e.g. the disc will specifically say that it's a 16:9 or 1.85:1 instead of the 2.4:1), but often the disc will just say "widescreen presentation" and leave it at that.
Usually, if you want a full 2.35:1 format, you need to (a) hope the director/producer has enough pull with the distribution studio to make sure that the proper framing is used, (b) hope that the full widescreen format will be expected and/or a selling point (e.g. with LAWRENCE OF ARABIA), or (c) hope Criterion puts it out.
It's certainly possible that Netflix is re-cropping films down to save space on their servers or something... but downcropping isn't exactly a simple process. It basically requires re-editing the film, or else it's blatently obvious (if you just recropped MAIN ON THE MOON using the same frame center, that shot used in the example in the article would be focused on empty space with two half-humans at the extreme edges of the shot, for example). You need to move the crop — and this has to be done manually, by an editor — to make sure the image doesn't look ridiculous. And I ask myself — how much could Netflix really be benefitting from these recrops to justify the labor required to make them?
I don't think they benefit materially at all. Which is why I think these are just the files they're getting from Warner, Universal, et al., and we should probably blame them for the disingenuous cropping, not Netflix.
They also blurred out Denis Levant's junk in Holy Motors.