Netflix, Steven Spielberg go to war over streaming and Oscars
Mar 05, 2019
Steven Spielberg doesn’t think Netflix films should win Oscars.
Spielberg said as much leading up to the Academy Awards, which took place back at the end of February.
Now, a spokesperson for Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment told IndieWire the “Jaws” director will rally against streaming services receiving Oscars.
- The spokesperson said Spielberg will make his case when the Academy’s Board of Governors meets in April. Spielberg “feels strongly” about the issue, the spokesperson said.
- Spielberg argues that movies arriving on Netflix or Hulu should be considered TV movies, which would make them eligible for the Emmy Awards and not the Academy Awards.
Flashback: He said something similar in an interview back in February, according to Gizmodo.
- “Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie,” Spielberg told ITV News. “You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar.”
- “I don’t believe that films that are just given token qualifications, in a couple of theaters for less than a week, should qualify for the Academy Award nominations.”
Context: Spielberg’s opinion falls in line with some major Hollywood studios, according to Engadget.
- “Studios in general have accused streaming giants of playing dirty by using shorter theatrical release windows, massive marketing budgets, secret viewer data and instant worldwide releases to thrash conventional movies.”
Reaction: Netflix, which received 10 Oscar nominations and won three of them at the 91st Academy Awards, responded to the Spielberg news in a tweet, BBC News reported.
- “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.”
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
Director Ava DuVernay, who made “A Wrinkle in Time” and “Selma,” tweeted her thoughts on Spielberg’s plan as well. She was nominated for the Netflix documentary “13th,” which explained the U.S. prison system.
Dear @TheAcademy, 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. Thanks, Ava DuVernay. https://t.co/DFBLVWhiJj
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 1, 2019
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
Note: Spielberg still embraces streaming. His “Amazing Stories” series is set to arrive on Apple’s streaming service in the future.