Netflix on Monday responded to director Steven Spielberg’s push to have its movies disqualified from Academy Award consideration in a tweet that touted that streaming service’s benefits to subscribers, such as its accessibility.
As reported at the time by The Inquisitr, over the weekend, the director of some of the biggest films in movie history launched a campaign to have the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences disqualify Netflix movies from consideration for its awards.
For almost a century, the Academy’s rules have required that any film available for consideration be shown in theaters during the calendar year for which it’s nominated. Netflix has adhered to that rule, somewhat, by screening films that it thinks deserve Academy Award nominations at a handful of L.A. theater screens for a few days. For example, the Academy Award-nominated Roma, which was expected to bring home Best Picture (but didn’t), screened for a few days at various L.A. theaters specifically so it could qualify for Oscar consideration.
Spielberg thinks that’s a case of Netflix massaging the rules to their own benefit.
“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.”
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 4, 2019
Further, Spielberg compared Netflix’s original motion picture output to not unlike TV movies and says that the streaming service’s movies should be treated as such and be eligible for Emmy, not Oscar, consideration.
“The greatest contributions we can make as filmmakers is to give audiences the motion picture theatrical experience.”
As Inquisitr writer Kristine Moore noted, Spielberg is in a powerful position within the Academy, and he may yet be able to push his rule change through. Although it remains unclear, as of this writing, what his proposed rule changes would be – viz, how long and at how many theaters a movie would have to screen before being eligible for Oscar consideration.
And in fact, as BBC News notes, the Academy appears poised to give Spielberg’s push some consideration: the Academy’s board meets next month, and it is expected to look into Spielberg’s suggestion.
In a tweet on Monday, Netflix, without mentioning Spielberg directly, mentioned a number of reasons why its films should not be ruled out of Oscar consideration just because of limited (or even no) theatrical release.
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
Netflix has allies in other industry movers and shakers, however, as Deadline reports. Ben Affleck, for example, says that Netflix is “the future of cinema.”