Helen Mirren has had enough of Netflix.
Over the course of a few years, the streaming service has become a global behemoth in the entertainment industry, rivaling major Hollywood studios. It has consistently produced great content for viewers happy to see their favorite stars being brought to their living rooms, but not everyone in the industry is pleased with the change. Netflix has faced a severe backlash from major film festivals like Cannes for not valuing theatrical releases, while acclaimed director Steven Spielberg has made no secrets about his wish to lobby against the streaming giant. And now Helen Mirren, one of cinema’s most popular dames, is also calling Netflix out.
The English actress, who has starred in some of the most loved films over the last few decades, slammed Netflix at CinemaCon, where she was promoting her new film, The Good Liar.
“I love Netflix, but f**k Netflix!” Mirren yelled onstage much to the delight of film lovers in her audience, which was mostly composed of movie exhibitors. They have had to face the brunt of streaming services like Netflix making a dash into the entertainment industry the most, with fewer people now interested in going to the cinemas.
Mirren’s words were then met with thunderous applause, according to Fox News.
“There is nothing like sitting in the cinema.”
— Variety (@Variety) April 2, 2019
Despite Netflix producing great movies and TV over time, its battle with purists has morphed into a conflict about the very definition of cinema itself. Filmmakers have slammed Netflix for its supposedly uppity attitude, and have accused the streaming giant of not valuing the “cinema experience.” In return, Netflix has continued to lure the biggest talents across the industry and has even pulled out of festivals like Cannes.
The streaming giant’s fight with Cannes has been well-documented after the festival asked Netflix not to release its movies in theaters and the internet simultaneously, as reported by Vox. Netflix decided to pull out of the festival altogether, meaning movies produced by it were no longer to be screened at one of cinema’s most prestigious film festivals. Even so, the decision does not seem to have deterred Netflix at all.
Last year, Steven Spielberg aired comments about attempting to lobby at the Academy against movies produced by Netflix. The director argued that movies which have no or very little theatrical outreach should not be in the race for the Academy Awards.
“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 nomination,” he said at this year’s Oscars. “I’m a firm believer that movie theaters need to be around forever.”