Director Steven Spielberg, the Academy Governor for the director’s branch, has been outspoken about his criticism about Netflix’s inclusion in Oscars categories, following Roma’s sweep at the awards show last month.
According to Variety, Spielberg plans to address his concern over Netflix streaming films receiving equal treatment to theatrical released films at the Oscars at the next post-Oscars Academy meeting. The director plans to propose a new ruling to exclude films that debut on streaming services or have a shorter theatrical run from Oscars eligibility.
“Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation,” an Amblin spokesperson tells Indiewire. “He’ll be happy if the others will join [his campaign] when that comes up [at the Academy Board of Governors meeting]. He will see what happens.”
He previously spoke about his beliefs that Netflix films should only be eligible for Emmy nominations rather than the Oscars as the streaming platform lends itself to more of a TV-movie format.
“Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie,” he told ITV News last March. “You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar. I don’t believe films that are just given token qualifications in a couple of theaters for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination.”
Following Spielberg’s attempt to keep the streaming platform from the Academy Awards, Netflix tweeted out an indirect response to the director’s claims.
We love cinema. Here are some things we also love:
-Access for people who can't always afford, or live in towns without, theaters
-Letting everyone, everywhere enjoy releases at the same time
-Giving filmmakers more ways to share art
These things are not mutually exclusive.
— Netflix Film (@NetflixFilm) March 4, 2019
Without calling out Spielberg directly, the streaming platform made clear its passion for film, increased accessibility, and showcasing filmmakers’ art in diverse ways, “things that are not mutually exclusive,” the platform writes on Twitter.
Since Spielberg’s plan was announced, several industry filmmakers and actors have spoken out against this idea in favor of the streaming platform, including director Ava DuVernay, who was nominated for an Academy Award in 2017 for her documentary 13th and who has tweeted several reactions on the social media platform. She tweeted on Friday, “Dear Academy, this is a Board of Governors meeting. And regular branch members can’t be there. But I hope if this is true, that you’ll have filmmakers in the room or read statements from directors like me who feel differently.”
One of the things I value about Netflix is that it distributes black work far/wide. 190 countries will get WHEN THEY SEE US. Here’s a promo for South Africa. I’ve had just one film distributed wide internationally. Not SELMA. Not WRINKLE. It was 13TH. By Netflix. That matters. https://t.co/lpn1FFSfgG
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 3, 2019
Steven Spielberg is gunning to make sure Netflix never has another Oscars contender like Roma.
Sorry, Mr. Spielberg, Roma ain’t no TV movie – it’s as impressive as anything out there. Platforms have become irrelevant. Make a movie with Netflix. https://t.co/0gvhlYhJs7
— Bruce Campbell (@GroovyBruce) March 2, 2019
Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images